All items: Africa

As the child of bookshop owners, Simon Rae grew up knowing that running a bookshop might be his destiny. But the revelation that he would rather write books than sell them took him along a different path…

Michael McMillan takes us on a tour through his interdisciplinary creative career, spanning visual arts, theatre and other kinds of writing, collaboration and curating, in 'On Reflection'.

Recently I fell out of love with the written word; so glib, so manipulable and so manipulative. I started resenting the little plastic worlds it makes, its booming authority and its eternal set-in-stone endurance.

Mark McCrum speaks with James McConnachie about his first travel writing adventures in South Africa during the last days of apartheid, being sent rather unwillingly for a further book about Australia, and working out what you’re writing about as you go along.

Michael McMillan charts his beginnings as a writer and artist, and the ambivalence of a double consciousness, of being British yet not feeling at home in the place one was born in, as a recurring theme in his work.
As the story develops, corridors are re-positioned and walls punctuated by gates that were never there. This helps me to resolve problems in the narrative, or invent new scenes.

Pippa Little speaks with Geoff Hattersley about poetry in her African and Scottish childhood, building a career as an early school leaver and her return to Higher Education, and her approaches to writing.

After a man broke into my home and tried to kill me I couldn't read properly for five years. I just couldn't lose myself; constantly on the alert for sounds, people, danger. I couldn't concentrate.