Scabby Queen

Kirstin Innes introduces Scabby Queen

The 30th April would have been publication day for Kirstin Innes fantastic new novel Scabby Queen before the pandemic caused the release date to be delayed. To mark the occasion, Kirstin shared some of the inspiration behind the novel on Twitter, answered readers’ questions, and gave us a sneak peak with a couple of readings from the book. Read More

Visiting J.G. Ballard’s House

“Politics for the age of cable TV. Fleeting impressions, an illusion of meaning floating over a sea of undefined emotions. We’re talking about a virtual politics unconnected to any reality, one which redefines reality as itself.” – Kingdom Come (2006). Read More

Landscapes of Memory: Alan Garner’s Alderley Edge

Alan Garner is a writer who has sought the fantastical within the ordinary, finding magic and menace in the local landscapes and folklore of the Cheshire plains in the north west of England. Having embedded himself in Alderley Edge, the main setting for a variety of his award-winning books, Garner has come to embody the “spirit of place” with his unmatched knowledge of the area’s folklore, archaeology and history. Read More

WOM4N: Elizabeth Day

If you do one thing today, please let it be read this rallying cry from Elizabeth Day. Here she brings you twenty-four totally kick-ass reasons why being a woman in 2018 is nothing other than exciting. Read it, be inspired by it, then send it to all your friends. Read More

WOM4N: Angela Saini

What does it mean to be a woman in 2018? What do you hope is different for the women in your family in 50 years' time? If you could change one thing about how society views the feminist movement, what would it be? Read More

Words and Wild Places by Gabriel Tallent

In college, a professor introduced me to a long eighteenth-century poem by James Thomson called The Seasons. Tremendously influential in its time, it is a lyrical and expansive description of the countryside. There is an entire language here that attends to and celebrates the natural world, and reading it, the salient feature is how rare that is. This is a loss, because it’s probably good for a person, to feel for wild places and to see them clearly. We treat this appreciation as something that comes naturally, but like anything else, you’ve got to learn it. Read More

The Makings of a Modern Career Guide by Otegha Uwagba

When it comes to career guidance, there’s certainly no shortage of books on the subject on offer. Rummage through the ‘careers’ section of any bookstore, and you’ll undoubtedly be confronted by an array of workplace manifestos urging you to ‘lean in’ and simply ‘think yourself rich’, perched next to volumes promising a 4-hour week, whilst exhorting you to ‘fail better’. Read More

Marcus du Sautoy: Could there come a moment when we know it all?

We know so much. Every time you open the newspapers we seem to have solved another great mystery about the universe. The discovery of another fundamental particle in the LHC. The measurement of gravitational waves rippling through the universe. The identification of genes related to deadly diseases. Read More

Sali Hughes: ‘Red is so much more than a colour. It’s a state of mind.’

Red Lipstick is the Little Black Dress of beauty. No item sums up beauty so succinctly – if you had to imagine a make-up item, you would probably picture a red lipstick before foundation or mascara. Red is powerful, strong, smart, bold, sexy, lethally feminine and iconic (try to imagine Marilyn Monroe without her glossy, orangey-red lips – it's not possible). Read More

Best of ‘The Bees’ interview with Laline Paull

It's such a unique story: how did you come to the idea in the first place?  It was a gift from a friend of mine who was a beekeeper and dying of cancer, although I didn't realise that until she'd gone. One of the last things she ever said to me was that she hoped there'd be a flowering of creativity when she'd gone. I hope that now I know what she meant by that, because in the immediate aftermath of her death I started to read about the honeybees which she loved so much and which she called her “girls”. Read More