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‘Throughout my adult years I’ve believed in the importance of the relationship between a writer and her community. I want to change things for the better.’

Chris Arthur speaks with Cherise Saywell about the essay as a multifaceted and ‘heretical’ form, the notion of a ‘dangerously failed’ piece of work, and the encouraging fact that ‘If you can find the objects that speak to you, essays will follow’.

Neil Hanson spends his diary week reflecting on subjects as diverse as the subtle art of ghostwriting, SAS men who spend three days hiding in a hedge, and what a big fire really leaves behind.