UK Literature

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 17.06.2014 | 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 13.06.2014 | 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 10.06.2014 | 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.

Language Is Not Mere Words

Howard Milton | Posted 10.06.2014 | UK
Howard Milton

Last week, facing a blank blog page, I distractedly tuned in to Radio 4. Fortunate in my timing, I caught the book of the week - 'The Unexpected Professor', John Carey's gentle reminiscence of his days as an Oxford undergraduate in the 50s.

How Stephen King's 'Carrie' Made Me Find My Own Power

Gabrielle Leimon | Posted 04.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Gabrielle Leimon

I sat down at the front of the bus and began reading. I'd learned that sitting near the bus driver minimised the bullying rather than sitting further back, in the middle of a crowd of people. I was instantly captured by the narrative style, using fictional newspaper clippings, letters, articles.

The Political Grounding of American Christianity

Tony Sobrado | Posted 27.05.2014 | UK
Tony Sobrado

In a stunningly ironic way it is the political equivalent of survival of the fittest that seeks shelter under a religious cannon. The religious Americans have there ultimate dream cake and eat it: the pre-eminence of self-regard on this earth is the right thing to do for yourself, others and God and as a consequence you are spiritually rewarded for it in the afterlife.

'Never Anything but Kindness': George Saunders, Folio Prize Winner

Jamie Andrews | Posted 23.05.2014 | UK Entertainment
Jamie Andrews

Like many people gathered at the St Pancras Hotel last week for the inaugural Folio Prize awards, I was delighted when Lavinia Greenlaw, chair of the Jury, announced George Saunders as the winner.

Fiction Is My First Language, So Why Not Use It to Talk About Art?

Tony White | Posted 30.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Tony White

Alongside my more traditional literary fiction, novels such as Foxy-T (Faber and Faber), I have been writing short stories about art for a few years now. Perhaps that sounds odd: writing fiction about art. Isn't that (to quote Martin Mull) 'like dancing about architecture'?

Book Review: Tabish Khair, How to Fight Islamist Terror From the Missionary Position

Claire Chambers | Posted 23.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Claire Chambers

This is a fast-paced, hilarious novel that nonetheless has sufficient depth to withstand several re-readings. If there's any justice, it's going to be as big a hit in Euro-America as it has been in Khair's home country of India.

ON ... You'll Never Fail Rediscovering (or Discovering) a Literary Classic

Martin Treanor | Posted 18.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Martin Treanor

Many people disregard the allure of the classic writers, seeing them as old, established, and jaded. Yet, in their day, these writers were the revolutionaries, cutting edge writing with cutting edge messages, and I challenge anyone looking at them anew to place themselves in the mindset of the reader of the time - even swap mental genders if you like - and see them as they were intended.

Hanif Kureishi and the Philosophers' Stone

Catriona Luke | Posted 08.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Catriona Luke

Kureishi's novel The Last Word shows that if you run the vernacular flotsam and jetsam of human experience on top of a structure of abstract philosophical thought, you may still effect change in society, by literary means.

Fifty Shades of Liberation?

Sonia Hendy-Isaac | Posted 06.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Sonia Hendy-Isaac

The eruption of 'mommy porn' typified in E.L James' 50 Shades series has been argued by some as a marker for female sexual empowerment. I will agree that it has enlightened a change in coffee table conversation, in a similar way to the emergence of Ann Summers' parties; but here's the rub - the series isn't actually representative of BDSM or female empowerment - it's simply about male possession.