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Reading T. S. Eliot, I saw the images, got caught up in the rhythms with no awareness of separation. Internalised is the word. But instead of losing myself, as happens in childhood reading, it was as if I were gaining a more intelligible sense of connection to real things.
I’ve continued to incorporate myths, modern myth-making, magic realism, as part of my writing. It manifests in my drama for theatre and screen, and both short and the long-form choreopoetry I write. It all stems from this formative period as a young child.
'Thank you Sister Marie Joseph, for reading us Bible stories every day, shining a light on a world of conflict and drama and complex family relationships like no other. I still bring flowers to your grave. And Miss Medland, for encouraging me to write stories.'
'I love writers who can explain hugely complex subjects in a way that makes them accessible to the lay reader. Max Hastings’s and Antony Beevor’s deservedly popular war books have done this magnificently, as did Piers Brendon’s The Dark Valley.'
Elizabeth Cook considers how moments of vitality and connection make writing come alive for the reader, and how we, as writers, can make our work sing.
'It was there and then that my desire to be a translator sprang up. I wanted to gain access to those other enchanted worlds and to try to accommodate them in English.'
'Didn't Shakespeare combine the quotidian with the supernatural, the mythical with the philosophical, all the time? Didn't the Greeks? Didn't the authors of the Bible?'
'When I was a teenager, I devoured the New Musical Express every week. Their greatest writer was a reprobate called Nick Kent, and he taught me the value of a great headline and an arresting opening.'
26-11-2020

Shahrukh Husain speaks with Amanda Whittington about the enduring presence of myths and fairytales in her writing, how Jo from Little Women became her first literary heroine and why Princess Diana is the greatest mythic figure of our age.

Alex Games considers why some authors adopt pseudonyms — and why others prefer complete anonymity.
19-09-2019

Jonathan Tulloch takes us to a Cumbrian riverbank, circa 1983, for a picnic eagerly awaiting the end of the world at half past three (please pass the ham sandwiches.)

Mary Colson faces down the aimlessness and lack of purpose that takes hold when a book has been finished, but hasn’t yet found its place in the world.

Listening to the music of Bob Marley as a young woman growing up in East London inspired Millie Murray to think that she might one day become a writer.
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