All items: biography

The writers who first deeply influenced me were the Modernists; Woolf, Pound, Eliot, H.D. All working the edges of meaning, re-imagining form and image, experimenting.

Ian Thomson speaks with Gabriel Gbadamosi about the writer’s need for selfishness, the use of not being comfortable in one’s own skin, subverting Englishness with JG Ballard and writing about Jamaica, Primo Levi and Haiti.

Writing biography, one of the great challenges is to remain disinterested; to always resist any temptation to identify with your subject.
As a poet and novelist, Katherine Stansfield has become used to managing different creative identities. Then she decided to start writing detective fiction under a pseudonym, and things got even more complicated…
When Sue Roe decided to write a group biography about the French Impressionists, she little realised what a challenge it would be, involving her in hundreds of hours of research and cross-checking of information about her ten famous subjects; she was inspired to visit the places where they lived and worked.

Wendy Moore speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about the loss of diversity and career opportunities in journalism, historical characters who demand to be written about, and her motivation to find parallels between the past and the present.

Mark McCrum speaks with James McConnachie about his long term background efforts in fiction, his experiences with self-publishing and how to do it properly, finding success in genre fiction and his openness to whatever comes next.

Claire Harman speaks with Caroline Sanderson about the painstaking, and sometimes obsessive art of literary biography, and how careful detective work can bring new insights into even the most written-about lives.