Category Literature

Review: Once Upon a River, Diane Setterfield

I’ve been reading a lot of clever and ‘concentrate-y’ books (read: lit fic?) recently and was really missing the power of a novel of good length and brilliant story. In came Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield at just the right time. Set in a rural village community upon the banks of the river […]

An ode to the first draft

Ok, I finished a rough first draft of a short story about ten minutes ago, and nothing felt more apt than writing a speedy blog post about just how much I love this feeling (and just how much I dread the next stage of the process). As most people know, the first draft of anything […]

Review: Autumn, Ali Smith

Have I mentioned that Autumn is my favourite time of year? Seven years of writing about Autumn on this blog later, I think it’s fair to say I’ve made my feelings about this season pretty clear. So it seems apt that the most recent book I read was the beautiful Autumn by Ali Smith which […]

Review: Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to an author where you know exactly what you’re going to get. As I make my way through Hardy’s rural back catalogue, I am conscious of the fact that I am knowingly avoiding the most depressing and shocking of his titles, Jude the Obscure. And, of course, it’s often […]

Review: Faces on the Tip of My Tongue, Emmanuelle Pagano

Reading books in translation is something I don’t do often enough, so a huge thank you to Peirene Press who kindly me sent a copy of this book and encouraged me to try something new. Faces on the Tip of My Tongue is a collection of stories set mostly in rural France, with a range […]

Review: An American Marriage, Tayari Jones

I’m not often so organised in my reading and rarely have I read a prize winner so quickly after it received a prize. But a short trip to Prague/Dresden this month meant that I plenty of opportunity to get stuck into something new, and Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage was my first pick. The way […]

Why I’m writing (and reading) short stories

When I’m asked what I’m writing on my Creative Writing MA, a lot of people seem surprised to hear that my answer is short stories. As many of you might know, I have written one (and a half) novels, and until I started on my Creative Writing course, I had never even considered the idea […]