All items: Africa

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.

Elanor Dymott speaks with Robin Blake about storytelling’s essential role in the British legal system, migrating from law journalism to fiction, and the childhood origins of an unsettling recurrent theme in her writing.

Chinua, an Igbo from Nigeria of my father's generation, who wrote Things Fall Apart with its title by an Irishman and its split focus between a pre-colonial West African people and culture and a British colonial administrator; it was, when I read it, the best thing I had ever read.
These writers and those like them who leave the comfort of their writing sheds in order to shine a light on some of the world's darkest, most neglected or dangerous corners, inspire me to bring these worlds to young readers.

Horatio Clare speaks with James McConnachie about difficult journeys, the manic episode that cost him his notes for an entire project, and the difference between loneliness and love of solitude.

She recited poems to me that she'd learned at school before leaving at 14 to help tend to soldiers returning wounded from the First World War, and recounted the Greek myths that, as an autodidact, she'd later immersed herself in.
I write because I found out early that it was very, very good fun: there was licence and liberty in it. I could make something real and true just by thinking it up,