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'What genre would Shakespeare be? His works contain horror, history, myth, fantasy, ghosts, crime. Dickens, too. I always have a Dickens on the go, and dip in just as I would a giant bag of pick and mix. I want a novel to have it all; why not?'
Later generations think that they can judge earlier ones because we who come later must be morally superior, having greater awareness and more enlightened attitudes. That’s a delusion. I know, because, at seventy, I’m embarrassed at some of my own attitudes when young.
Amanda Dalton considers the recurring theme of ‘home’ in her writing and theatre work and investigates how this creative obsession began.
Clare Morgan shares how Virginia Woolf’s work helped her find her literary voice and how, by exploring Woolf’s letters and diaries, she found echoes of her own family story that inspired a novel of her own.
'As well as learning about history it was good for our reflexes because we had to be on the ball and duck or else you could get killed or just knocked out like Vivienne Pryce-Jones who took a direct hit between the eyes from a German Fokker.'
'When I was on the judging panel for the Man Booker Prize, we had to read around a hundred and twenty novels in three months. Enforced concentration made the brain's critical mechanism whirr at an adrenaline-fuelled pace. '
C. D. Rose investigates the allure of famous incomplete and lost texts and asks why we are so fascinated by these elusive literary works.

Babs Horton takes us to Tredegar, a small town in the Welsh Valleys, ravaged by coal and politics.

Brian Clegg re-haunts the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, where the ghosts of modern physics collect.

Tamar Yellin explains the influence of the moorland landscape of Bronte Country on her life and work.

Penny Hancock describes how losing her sense of smell had an unexpected impact on her writing and considers the importance of scent in building both real and fictional worlds.
'A writer in London has the ever-present possibility of going out of the door and into a space shared with millions; entering a grand, random work of performance art, at any hour of the day or night, any stage of the work.'
'Thankyou for packing the case for our long journey with language, story, curiosity. Thanks for biting away at the apple, for being solitary and bad at maths, awkward at the youth club.'
'I tend to read what I am trying to write. So, novels, when I am in the thick of a novel of my own and short stories when I'm trying to master that most difficult of forms.'
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