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Rebecca proved that literary merit is not the antithesis of a good yarn; it is possible, perhaps preferable, to do both.’

Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about the tragic fates of two lesser-known Kennedy siblings, doing meticulous scholarly research and yet publishing accessible books, moving into writing fiction, and investigating the psychological health benefits of reading with ReLit.

‘Knowing the writer inevitably quickens the pleasure of reading the work. Olga is an unusually complete writer; all she does is imagine, plan, plot and write.’