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Marina Benjamin speaks with James McConnachie about midlife, the lost dreams of the space age and the note of melancholy running through all of her work.

Amanda Mitchison speaks with John Siddique about her family’s writing legacy, her eccentric newsroom roles in the Vatican and Cairo, the current plight of career journalists, and her wistful links to Scotland.

‘When I was writing my fourth novel I had two toddlers but I was trapped inside my story; I was compelled to keep writing.’