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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’.

‘As a writer I play as seriously as a child, and live more than once. Writing also lets me play with ideas, intellectual puzzles; I push them around like jigsaw pieces.’

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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