Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about the tragic fates of two lesser-known Kennedy siblings, doing meticulous scholarly research and yet publishing accessible books, moving into writing fiction, and investigating the psychological health benefits of reading with ReLit.
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Julia Copus shares her diary in ‘My Writing Week’, encompassing a glitzy awards night in the city, the challenge of everyday administrative distractions back at home, and the role of dogs – the ‘heartbeat at my feet’ – in the lives of writers.
Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about Jane Austen’s laptop, why she wouldn’t write about somebody she had no affinity with, being a ‘footnote queen’, recovering lost women’s voices, and being a pioneer of the ‘partial life’ biography.
Pascale Petit recounts how the sudden re-emergence of her long-absent father triggered both a sense that she’d discovered the material for her new book, but also a complete inability to write it.
Penny Hancock explains how a professional setback and a series of personal losses led her to decide to give up writing completely - and how the unusual life story of an elderly relative provided two kinds of inspiration for starting again.