• May 22, 2019 • Tags:

    In March 2020, 4th Estate will publish THE MIRROR & THE LIGHT, the final novel of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy.

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  • Laura Whateley / Greenfeast

    • Oct 21, 2019 •

    In celebration of Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast: autumn, winter publishing this October, we asked some 4th Estate authors to write a few words about veg-minded living.

    Laura Whateley, author of Money:

    “When I decided, aged 25, to move in with my boyfriend, it was not the loss of single-girl freedom that most concerned me, nor how we would navigate our different views on “tidiness” – he’s an Essex boy with a father who was an architect, immaculate work surfaces are in his blood.

    No, it was the knowledge that there would be no roast chicken on a weekend and I would never come downstairs to him frying me bacon for my breakfast. Our future did not include us sharing spaghetti bolognese together in front of the TV, or barbecued beef in the park on a balmy evening. My boyfriend has never, in fact, tasted a burger. I was to cohabit with a man brought up vegetarian and Sunday lunch would never be the same again.

    Fast forward nine years, where this cohabiting arrangement is looking permanent,  well that’s what I promised in my wedding vows, and I can report that becoming an accidental part-time non-meat eater is one of the best things that could have happened to my diet.

    My husband is relaxed about food and was never going to ban meat from our fridge. I absolutely draw the line at Linda McCartney sausages in my toad in the hole, for example. Sometimes he compromises and eats fish, he feels like he could kill a prawn without too much guilt. But it has always been easier to cook and share the same thing.

    So, slowly I’ve learned to relish the challenge of making chickpeas and lentils interesting, readjusting my mindset about what a main meal looks like from meat/veg/carbs, towards adopting my mother-in-law’s enviable ability to rustle up a table-full of green dishes, a few salads, or two curries, some rice, served in mismatched crockery. 

    Eating less meat means eating more colourful food and I feel healthier for it in body, energy levels, and wallet. It is amazing how much money you save by not unthinkingly chucking packets of mince in your trolley.

    The biggest shift, however, has been in how much I now pause and think about eating meat before I do it.

    I will still order the steak if we go out to eat (when invariably the waiter puts it down in front of my husband and we have to switch plates because meat is still an oddly gendered topic, but that’s a rant for another day). I no longer do so automatically, though.  When I’m browsing Pret options for lunch I think harder about it: how much do I really want ham in my salad? 

    I’m much more aware that I should consider where my food has come from, and the impact that journey has on an animal, or the environment, and whether that impact is worth it.

    I don’t know if I can ever give up meat entirely, my husband has an advantage – he doesn’t know what he’s missing –  but I am grateful that through love and laziness, I’ve learned to be a lot more conscious for what it is that’s on my plate.”

    Money: A User’s Guide by Laura is out now.
    Greenfeast: autumn, winter by Nigel Slater is also out now.

  • Allan Jenkins / Greenfeast

    • Oct 9, 2019 •

    In celebration of Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast: autumn, winter publishing this October, we asked some 4th Estate authors to write a few words about veg-minded living.

    Allan Jenkins, author of Plot 29 and Morning:

    “Winter came close to my kitchen last week. I had been lazing in late summer, eating endless varieties of salad and baked ratatouille, made mostly with shallots and various squash from our organic allotment at the top of Hampstead. I was surrounded by sunflowers, chest-high marigolds and fragrant flowering coriander. Plot 29 was in its pomp.

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  • Deep Heart by Kandace Siobhan Walker

    • Sep 11, 2019 •

    We are always barefoot. I try to explain this to the police officers who arrive from the mainland. We’re quieter this way and we need to be quiet when we’re stalking wild animals in the pine forest. Heaven walks in front because she’s the oldest, then me because I’m the youngest, then Bluebird at the rear. When I tell the black policeman we were hunting, Heaven shakes her head. She tells him we were at home. He looks at me, then her, then back at me. We’re sitting at the kitchen table, the soles of our feet muddy and bleeding. Well, says the officer, which one is it?

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  • Packed Lunch by Jenna Mahale

    • Sep 11, 2019 •

    the preparation of dishes and ingredients before the beginning of service

    Though he might not like to admit it, my dad has always been good with food. He has a talent for improvising kitchen cupboard scraps into a meal, transforming stale bread and old sun-dried tomatoes into delicious bruschetta, or producing delicate crudités from vegetable drawer remnants. He has an innate sense of what flavours pair well together, and an ability to plate things in the artful way they do in restaurants. He often denies this gift, brushing off compliments by saying he can only make snack-food, which is really just his way of saying he doesn’t want to cook for the household.

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  • 50 Rose Tower by Oluchi Ezeh

    • Sep 11, 2019 •

    The summer before our family fell apart, a legend started on our estate. I was ten at the time, and like every other ten year old, all I wanted to do was spend summer riding around on my bike at the park near our house. The climbing frames in the park were rusty and completely discoloured – unless whoever built them had intended brown to be the colour of childhood excitement – so it didn’t appeal to many parents as an afterschool site. Also, I’m pretty sure that drug dealers used to hang out there but I never met any, so how much of a presence could they have been really, you know?

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  • The Cat by The Incredible Jimmy Smith by Sonia Hope

    • Sep 11, 2019 •

    1964: the year his marriage ended. The year his record stopped spinning, the needle in his groove lifted haltingly, and with a snap returned his tone arm to its cradle.

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  • Once we were Warriors by Jameen Kaur

    • Sep 11, 2019 •

    ‘Check the time and date properly on the ticket. I don’t want us getting a fine. I’m still paying off your brother’s overdraft,’ said Mum, as she pulled herself out of the car.

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  • The Hyacinth Girls by Arenike Adebajo

    • Sep 9, 2019 •

    The rainy season brought rumours. Whispers of poison after a mass recall of Indomie noodles. A girl in Form 3 reappearing after several months with family in Maryland, withdrawn. Lurid headlines warned of cults, front pages daubed with blurry corpses. There were mutterings that the pastor of the Shining Light Ministry had not succumbed to a brief illness as had been announced to his congregation. Suicide. A word breathed into neighbours’ ears along pews. They said the body would never have been found if the hyacinth had not bloomed so late.

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