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'I was an outsider within my more fissile than fusional nuclear family. My speech emerged so late, and so mangled, that it was experienced by others as either foreign or gibberish; terms which, in the England of the day, were understood as synonymous.'
'I remember the thrill of excitement that went through me. Here was my favourite TV programme in book form! It was like a dream come true. I wanted both books, but opted for the non-Dalek one because it had a multi-tentacled creature on the cover. '
'This re-sensitizing to nature has had a profound effect on me. On a recent trip to China I realized, after a week or so, something was terribly wrong. I had not seen a single insect in days. Not an ant, not a cockroach... We started to look for them. '
'Remember to keep a notebook at all times. It's your impressions I'm after; like the bicycle clips worn by one of your fellow passengers on the Hoi Wong to stop cockroaches climbing up his trouser legs.'
Playwright Fraser Grace makes a late reconnection with poetry — and finds that it is more essential than ever.

Helena Drysdale speaks with James McConnachie about male vs female travel writing, journeys alone and with others, becoming literally radioactive during cancer treatment and chasing the past in Romania, Greece and New Zealand.


Nick Holdstock speaks with John Siddique about living in and writing about China and the nature of the 'Chinese dream', his unexpected job cataloguing the book collection of the late Doris Lessing, and the inspiration of serendipitous finds in second-hand books.


Susan Barker speaks with Cherise Saywell about the international origins of her novels, the way her characters and storylines emerge organically as she writes and her experiences living in Japan and China.


Nigel Cliff speaks with James McConnachie about the 19th century 'Shakespeare Riots' in New York, what might be driving his choice of subjects, and the differences between the US and UK publishing industries.

'Part-philosophy, part-erotica, part-poetic stream of consciousness, The Lover translates the strangeness of Duras' world, of being in it, onto the page with perfect pitch.'
Research for a novel led Beatrice Colin to Argyllshire’s Benmore Gardens, and sparked a fascination with all things horticultural and with the Victorian plant hunters who first brought non-native species to Scotland.

John Keay speaks with James McConnachie about relics of Empire and roving Scots, the other writers in his family and the hectic schedule of non-fiction writers with new books to promote.

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