Jo Mazelis was born in Wales and lives there now, but she resists being pegged as a 'local author' just because she’s published by a Welsh Press. Here she reflects on the pull and push of regionalism. Why, when her novel is set in France with an international cast, does it get shelved next to Day Walks in the Brecon Beacons and Welsh Teatime Recipes?
The novelist Anna Haycraft (Alice Thomas Ellis) died of lung cancer in 2005. Deborah Bosley, who along with Beryl Bainbridge, Shelley Weiner and Caroline Blackwood was one of Anna’s literary protégés, recalls a life rich in letters, love, children and faith. At the centre of it all was Anna’s profound domesticity, heady with books, booze, family and fags. And it revolved round the kitchen table.
For much of the 20th century, George Orwell's boot stamping on a head was a better metaphor for political repression that Aldous Huxley's smiling dystopia of drug-induced passivity. No longer. Nicholas Murray says the wily ways of 'soft power' threading through Brave New World underpin today's consumer capitalism.