Are writers mad — or only very sane? Horatio Clare reflects on this conundrum, with relation to his own experience of mental illness.
The keys were similarly stubborn; not so much touch-typing as hammer-throwing. What that did for my finger joints I am only now beginning to find out.
Enchanted by the seductive music of this poem, its strangeness but also its powerful sense of reality; I didn't know exactly what it meant in the sense of its paraphrasable content, but its potency was unignorable. Imagine if one could write like this!
Chinua, an Igbo from Nigeria of my father's generation, who wrote Things Fall Apart with its title by an Irishman and its split focus between a pre-colonial West African people and culture and a British colonial administrator; it was, when I read it, the best thing I had ever read.
Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about Jane Austen’s laptop, why she wouldn’t write about somebody she had no affinity with, being a ‘footnote queen’, recovering lost women’s voices, and being a pioneer of the ‘partial life’ biography.
Generally associated with fortune-telling rather than story-telling, the Tarot can be a valuable asset to a writer, argues Diane Samuel, offering a range of archetypes and narrative possibilities which can help unlock the creative impulse.
Every writer has a file, a drawer or a cupboard of unfinished or unpublished books. After going through his own dusty box file, Rupert Christiansen considers the classic novels that once lived as ‘zombies’ — and finds new hope that his own may yet come to life.