All items: Jean-Paul Sartre

You've started writing your diary in Spanish since discovering that your mother reads it sometimes, but now she's started learning Spanish too. Don't worry, I'm here to tell you that she won't get very far with it.

Todd McEwen tells Frances Byrnes about how his early life in Southern California gave him abundance – in literature and landscape – but also taught him scepticism and helped him develop his distinctive writing voice.

Jonny Wright considers the sobering parallels between the 1959 play A Raisin In The Sun, featuring a black family in Southside Chicago, and the racial inequality, downward economic mobility and defacto housing segregation of contemporary London.

Kerry Young describes her journey from failing 'O'-level English to becoming a successful novelist, and how her writing is a gift both to her late father and to the diverse cultures that have produced contemporary Jamaica.

Can a British or Irish playwright ever escape the influence of Samuel Beckett? Brian McAvera reveals why he put Beckett on stage as a vampire and ventriloquist’s dummy, and explains how it all stems from those troubled questions of British and Irish identity – questions that Beckett, like so many writers, tried to escape by becoming a European.