UK Literature

'Tis Pity She's a Whore: Judging a Book by its Cover

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 19.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

I have read quite a few well-known, critically acclaimed plays yet none of them were quite as entertaining - or indeed shocking - as 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Ford explores an extremely provocative subject matter - essentially, the morality of incest - in a sort of lively, almost playful, fashion.

Common Sense Politics in The Grapes of Wrath

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 13.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck supports collective ownership: 'If this tractor were ours it would be good - not mine, but ours. If our tractor turned the long furrows of our land, it would be good. Not my land, but ours.'

Novelists Should Write Every Day - But Does Writing Non-Fiction 'Count'?

John Lucas | Posted 13.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
John Lucas

Writers are frequently told that they should work every day in order to build and maintain the requisite muscles. Great advice, but what exactly should we be writing? To be specific, if you are committed to the art of fiction, does writing non-fiction 'count'?

Howard Jacobson Interview: The Brave New Word of 'J'

Jason Holmes | Posted 12.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Jason Holmes

The novel, set in a dystopia of the future, is a love story between loner artists, Ailinn and Kevern, and is a dark turn for a writer who has made his name by making others laugh. But behind every joke has not the impetus for its telling been borne of something more desperate and tragic?

What Do You Think Of The New 'Creepy' Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Cover?

The Huffington Post UK | Rachel Moss | Posted 08.08.2014 | UK Lifestyle

Most of us who were Roald Dahl fans as kids loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Willy Wonka, its 'good conquers evil' core, Oompa-Loompas and,...

Does Politicising Education Start With Changing the Reading List?

Ian Stanley | Posted 06.08.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Ian Stanley

This appointment will only really be revealed as a success or failure over the next couple of months. That includes finding out the sort of changes Hoare will make, and the influence over decisions he is allowed. It could be a great leap that proves taking a business-sided angle was just what was needed - or it could further a politicisation that Gove set in motion before he left.

Why I'm Giving Homeless People Books, Not Food

Priyanka Mogul | Posted 01.08.2014 | UK
Priyanka Mogul

Someone who has been sleeping rough for years might read a book that suddenly gives him or her an idea for a way out of the circumstances they're faced with. They might read about a situation somewhere in the world and find their new passion through it. Or they might even decide that the words they've read are so inspiring, they want to get back on their feet so they can inspire people in their own way.

Blur, Fitzgerald and Keats: Literary Influences From Popular Culture

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 31.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

When I was 18, I bought F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night under the assumption that Fitzgerald had derived his title from a song by an Essex based Brit-pop band. I came to the conclusion that the author, like me, was a fan of Blur.

We All Know That Aspiring Writers Crave Publication - The Question Is, Should They?

John Lucas | Posted 30.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
John Lucas

At the moment I am reading a new novel by a young British author, published by a small but reputable UK house. It is terrible. OK, perhaps I should qu...

Words of War

Alex Martinez | Posted 28.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Alex Martinez

Perhaps that is why writers, in whatever form or style or language, feel so compelled to continue writing about war - because, for the most part, the lessons these stories have to teach us aren't being learnt; the implications of the lies they expose aren't being absorbed.

A Trip Down Ethical Memory Lane

Harriet Lamb | Posted 22.07.2014 | UK
Harriet Lamb

We all remember with horror the great-aunts who would exclaim: 'My how you have grown'. In my case, it was especially excruciating as it usually meant I'd grown out rather than up, unlike my tall siblings. Fast forward several years and suddenly we've all become that aunt. Before we know it, we find ourselves parroting the same words when children we haven't seen for a while, have suddenly shot up.

Don't Underestimate Children

B.J. Epstein | Posted 13.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
B.J. Epstein

Children, like adults, have the right to see books that reflect the world around them, and the broader world, too. That means, yes, featuring different races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, religions, abilities, classes, ages, and so on, and also exploring political, moral, physical, and emotional issues

Reading Lolita in Public

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 09.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

There I am, sitting on the train, surrounded by bored, lonely and judgemental strangers, reading the words that grace those infamous pages... 'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.'

Five Secrets I Learned on Writing Retreat

Rachael Lucas | Posted 07.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Rachael Lucas

The main secret I learned was there's no escaping the fact that the key to getting a book written is hard slog. But if you're going to do it, you may as well do it with copious amounts of cake and good company. I'm already planning my next escape, even if it does mean working on another novel to justify it.

The Fantastic Life of Paulo Coelho: Between Insanity and Spirituality

Ewa Zubek | Posted 02.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ewa Zubek

Immensely quotable, universally appealing, read all over the world - that's Paulo Coelho, the indisputable king of popular Brazilian literature. The man behind The Alchemist, one of the best-selling novels ever written, may be a spiritual guru to many, but his past is marked by episodes of black magic, drugs and orgies.

301+ Interviews: Thug Notes

Mat Greenfield | Posted 15.08.2014 | UK Tech
Mat Greenfield

"Every day we get messages from fans telling us our videos have given them a heightened understanding of the books we cover. It's really encouraging to hear." As well as giving a new perspective on the books being discussed, the unique format of the show seems to have struck a chord with viewers as well.

Dylan Thomas: The Playful and the Profound

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 11.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

The public persona of Thomas, embodied in Brinnin's book, is often the focus of articles concerning the writer and this year, on the centenary of his birth, one can expect plenty more of the same.

#ThisBook Campaign Highlights the Enjoyment and Experience You Can Get With Reading

Edith Bowman | Posted 10.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Edith Bowman

In the same way that music can fuel emotions and transport you to a time or place, stories do that exact same thing for me. You can see your situation in the lyrics of songs and the same with characters in books; you can make a connection with them.

The Rabid Dog and the Dead Mockingbird

Charley-Kai John | Posted 28.07.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Charley-Kai John

Michael Gove's intention to axe American Classics (To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible) from the GCSE English Literature syllabus ...

Why Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Should Be Taught In British Classrooms Now

Sara McCorquodale | Posted 28.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Sara McCorquodale

Shakespeare is wonderful. Seamus Heaney, a revelation. But if we want to share and teach literature that will inspire progression and self-belief no matter what? I can think of no better work than I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

Dear Michael Gove, Please Keep Your Politics Out of English

Tom Johnson | Posted 27.07.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Tom Johnson

Britain has indeed produced some of the world's best literature, but to presume that we have done so alone and prescribe a romp through literature that assumes as much ignores the world outside of our shores. If you want to inspire a love of literature, by all means select politically diverse works, gorgeously written, intellectually challenging pieces. But do not pick and choose a whole curriculum in accordance with a narrow, personal political vision.

Too Many Cooks Enhance the Taste of Broth!

Preetam Kaushik | Posted 19.07.2014 | UK
Preetam Kaushik

Writing is often an intense expression. It's a deeply personal one, often tumultuous a journey with many sharp curves, and one-ways; most of the times...

Literature Is a Library

Jamie Andrews | Posted 15.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Jamie Andrews

The great wonder of the British Library is that our vaults hold not only original literary texts, but the contextual materials that help today's readers place those works in the moment of their writing, and track responses to them over the years.

Library as Church, Bookshelf as Altar: Why I Gave Up Praying, and Carried on Reading

Kester Brewin | Posted 08.07.2014 | UK
Kester Brewin

Around 18 months ago my best friend died of cancer. He was early 40s, and left a wife and twins. Like me 'the son of a preacher man,' we'd collaborated together on projects exploring the outer edges of what our faith was becoming.

Love Your Literature

Robyn Harris | Posted 15.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robyn Harris

These are things that a tablet or an e-reader can't offer you. You can't feel pixels. Read a book, for Christ sake. You'll learn a lot more than just from the words it displays, I promise.