Five from 4th Estate

• Mar 8, 2013 • Tags: , ,

We’ve bottled up the internet and labelled it ‘Literary Goodness’. Get your weekly fix of the five online things to see, hear and read, brought to you by us at 4th Estate.


A lot of people make the mistake of thinking writers are just like ordinary people. They’re not. And when they move into your home they come with a special list of requirements that you ignore at your peril. This extract from The Complete Guide to the Care and Training of the Writer in Your Life provides handy tips that will ensure a smooth transition, for example, ‘Designate a warm, cozy area of your home as a “studio.” Your writer will appreciate a couch and blankets or other soft bedding material.’


In this TED Talk Amanda Palmer, best known for her band The Dresden Dolls and wife of Neil Gaiman, argues that instead of worrying about how to make listeners pay for music, we should start finding ways of letting them pay for it. The lecture explores the close and important relationship between artists and their fans, now buttressed by social media, and tackles the crucial subject of how to ensure artists are still paid for the work they produce.

UK: The Guardian Hay Festival 2004

James Wood is best known for his literary criticism in publications such as The New Yorker and the LRB.  But did you know he’s also great at the finger drums?! Ahead of his talk at the London Review Bookshop next week, watch a video of his masterful musical performance.


A while back we shared John Jeremiah Sullivan’s brilliant essay on sharing his life with the set of One Tree Hill. Taken from his memoir, Blood Horses, this essay ‘My father, the smoker’, describes Sullivan’s father, a sportswriter, who was also desperately addicted to cigarettes. This is a highly personal portrayal of the relationship between a parent and child, a son who fears for his father’s life and a father whose constant attempts to quit are hopeless.


Is this the best eleven seconds of YouTube footage? Doris Lessing finds out she’s won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and she isn’t happy.

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