Jonathan Tulloch, in his final seasonal piece of the series, revisits a child’s Christmas in Cumbria, with a stray appearance of Saxon the family dog, a big black bible plucked from a Dylan Thomas sky, and an orange bulging in a rugby sock like an anaconda’s meal.
Once I start on a novel I write every day and become captivated by the way the story unfolds. Although as author I am notionally in charge, in fact I write to find what happens next.
The great novels of the northern, working-class male experience were written in one decade-long span that ended with Barry Hines’ A Kestrel for a Knave in 1968. Paul Sayer wonders if that was really that. Could such novels still be written today? By a northern man from the succeeding, relatively comfortable generation?