All items: George Bernard Shaw

Loving a person can make one vulnerable, dependent and often terribly silly; loving a book can make you strong and independent, the object of admiration, respect, esteem.

Ali Knight explores the murky depths of the Grand Union Canal in Londonand explains how it inspires her crime fiction.

John Greening takes us to the poetic village of Little Gidding and its nearby literary landmarks.

Miranda Miller introduces us to Henry James’ Lamb House in Rye and its connections with various writers.

Rupert Christiansen speaks with Frances Byrnes about journalistic antecedents, career vs vocation, being a ‘jobbing writer’, and his memoir serendipitously inspired by Don Draper of ‘Mad Men’.

Tobias Jones speaks with James McConnachie about his lifelong fascination with communal living, the secrets of making it work, and his own experience in establishing and nurturing a residential community.

A quest for the perfect writing space prompted Fraser Grace to build his own: a hut in the garden, inspired by the one built by George Bernard Shaw, and the prototype for which was the treehouse he’d built for his children.

Cynthia Rogerson contemplates the literary spurs of exile and outsiderhood, wonders whether she would have written any novels if she’d simply stayed at home in the USA, and explains why being a writer is easier in Scotland than in California.

Brian McAvera considers what we’ve lost in favouring naturalistic, TV-esque theatre over the wider and deeper possibilities offered by non-naturalism.