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Catherine O’Flynn dissects her enthusiasm for failed utopias, such as the ghost real estate ventures of the Spanish Riviera, and the influence of growing up surrounded by the 'bizarre and melancholy landscaped public spaces' of Birmingham.

Siân Rees takes us to Asunción in Paraguay, where magical realism makes sense and ghosts haunt the landscape and the imagination.

Lydia Syson reflects on the particular kinds of truth that fiction can reveal, considers the radical history of her maternal forebears, and puts the case for novel-reading as an essential element of historical research in ‘The Evidence of Fiction’.

Alicia Foster speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about her unusual childhood in an isolated former nursing home, growing up goth, her twin passions of visual art and literature, and accidentally becoming a novelist after being an academic.

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