‘A couple of weeks after my third book, a story collection, was accepted for publication, I got diagnosed with bowel cancer. A blow like that leaves its mark, even after a complete recovery. If you can’t trust your body, how can you trust yourself? ‘
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‘In the afternoons where once I had written, I sat feeling depressed and lethargic. I tried exercise, baking, gardening and knitting. Then I got knitter’s block. ‘
‘Had I started anything freely — a poem or a description, a riff of dialogue or rough journal entries — my block may have dispersed.’
Laura Hird speaks with Geoff Hattersley about her beginnings as a writer of bleak and gritty short stories, the real reason her first novel was written in four different voices, and how she gave her mother a literary afterlife in ‘Dear Laura’.