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'Barbara Pym's renaissance was sparked in 1977 in the TLS when both Lord Cecil and Philip Larkin claimed her as ‘the most underrated novelist of the century’. Her books were republished, and, joy of joys, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.'
Jeremy Treglown considers the allure of working with historical archives and shares some literary anecdotes from a lifetime of documentary research.
'Carrot comes into view — another ep of latest Covid Netflix addiction. Only if you’ve done your pages. Comes as Mrs Danvers’ voice, icy, stern and always delivered wearing black at top of stairs. There is no Rebecca or nameless heroine in our house.'

Stephanie Norgate explores her practice of keeping notebooks, relishing the 'unexpected jewels' they produce, and shares her fascination with the notebooks of other writers and the remarkable insights they can provide.

Her mother’s worsening dementia made Penny Hancock realise how important it is for people to feel at home — and why so many writers identify with a specific place.

James Woodall speaks with Robin Blake about how his mother is accidentally responsible for his writing career and some of his subject matter, how his love of Spanish music eventually led him to Latin America, and wanting to escape the constraints of biography.


Amanda Mitchison speaks with John Siddique about her family’s writing legacy, her eccentric newsroom roles in the Vatican and Cairo, the current plight of career journalists, and her wistful links to Scotland.

Revisiting a beautiful spot on the Greek mainland after an absence of many years, Elanor Dymott reflects on why she was drawn to write about it — and wonders whether her memories of the place were as accurate as she’d thought.

Joanna Nadin tells George Miller about growing up in Essex, her earlier career in politics, and writing about ‘extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people, in very ordinary places’.

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