New Book Explores the Relationship Between Writers and their Cats

By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
Released last month, Writers and Their Cats does exactly what it says on the tin. Writers are a solitary sort, at home all day, and so it does make them perfect for keeping house pets and cats and writing kind of go hand in hand. I’ve often wondered how many authors have a feline muse, draped across their lap as they type and now it seems this new book has all the answers.

This volume celebrates forty five famous writers including Mark Twain, Haruki Murakami, and Ursula K. Le Guin, who have shared their home and writing space with a feline friend. There are photographs and stories all exploring that special bond between wordsmith and mouser.

Here’s a taster:

Read More

Haruki Murakami Withdraws His Book from This Year’s Alternative Nobel Prize

By | Authors, Literary Awards, News | No Comments
Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami has requested that his 2017 book Killing Commendatore be withdrawn from this year’s alternative Nobel Prize in Literature award. This year sees an alternative award called the New Academy Prize in Literature, as the original has been postponed this year following a sexual misconduct scandal.

Read More

This Stage Presentation of Richard Wright’s Black Boy is Beautiful

By | Authors, Reading Excerpts | No Comments
Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4th, 1908 – November 28th, 1960) was an American author of novels, short stories, poems and non fiction. Born on a plantation in Roxie, Mississippi, much of Wright’s work concerns racial themes and the plight of African Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries and the discrimination and violence they suffered. He’s credited with helping to change race relations in the USA.
Read More

The Fall of Gondolin Is the Last Story of Tolkien’s to Be Edited by His Son

By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
For decades, J.R.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien, has worked tirelessly to edit his father’s notes and bring us tales from Middle-Earth that remained unfinished at the time of his father’s death. Christopher Tolkien brought us many treasures from Middle-Earth, including the likes of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and a massive twelve volume series called The History of Middle-Earth.

Following this week’s release of The Fall of Gondolin, it seems that at the age of 93, Christopher Tolkien has finally finished working on his father’s legacy. As reports, Christopher has stated that “The Fall of Gondolin is indubitably the last” of his father’s work he’ll be involved with.

Read More

“No Guarantees That Things Aren’t Going to Go Tits Up,” Says Margaret Atwood

By | Authors, News | No Comments
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was first published in 1985 and has since become a modern classic for its depiction of a dystopian future where women are treat as second class citizens in a patriarchal society. A recent TV adaptation by Hulu has since propelled the novel to further fame, and the current political climate in the United States has made the book increasingly relevant.

Read More

Literary Laugharne: From 1172 to Dylan Thomas

By | Authors, Literary Places, Poetry | No Comments
Don’t tell everyone, but last week I sneaked off on a little holiday down the coast and while I was there I went to spend a day in Laugharne. The small town is best known for being home to Dylan Thomas but less well known is its connection to Richard Hughes (A High Wind in Jamaica).

Laugharne is steeped in history, and was well before Thomas decided to reside there. It has a castle that dates back to the 1100s, laid siege by Cromwell in the 1600s but still standing in ruinous form today. The town also contains many fine examples of Georgian townhouses and is home to the Laugharne Corporation, the last surviving medieval corporation in the UK.

It is however, best known for being the home of Dylan Thomas and the town is scattered with landmarks connected to the author, from the boathouse, to his writing shed, the castle gazebo where he and Richard Hughes wrote together, the Dylan Thomas birthday walk, inspired by Poem in October, and his final resting place.
Read More

Malorie Blackman and Michael Rosen in Conversation

By | Authors, Video | No Comments
Malorie Blackman and Michael Rosen have joined forces to bring us this in depth talk on writing, reading, and all things BOOK!

Both writers are treasures of the literary world- particularly with the younger readers- so gaining knowledge from them about their work and motivation is invaluable.

Malorie Blackman has written over sixty books and is one of our most compelling writers for young people. Awards received for her writing, include the Red House Children’s Book Award, Eleanor Farjeon Award, Fantastic Fiction Award, and a shortlisting for the Carnegie Medal. In 2008 Blackman received an OBE for services to children’s literature and was the Children’s Laureate 2013–2015. (Find out more here)

Michael Rosen has been writing since the 1970s and has so far written over 140 books and was Children’s Laureate from June 2007 to June 2009. He writes fiction, articles for newspapers and magazines, and poetry. Rosen appears at UK schools, libraries and theatres to perform his poetry, helps teach children how to write, or to talk about reading and writing. A staunch supporter of children’s literacy, Rosen appears regularly on radio and TV, either reading books, or talking about books. He also teaches at universities and runs workshops about children’s literature and poetry. (Find out more here)

Read More

Frank McCourt: Wise Words From The Teacher Man

By | Authors, Quotations | No Comments
Frank McCourt was born on 19th August 1930 in Brooklyn New York. His family moved back to Ireland during the Great Depression, where his alcoholic father, found it difficult to come by and keep a job. After McCourt’s father left Limerick, his mother struggled alone, to bring up Frank and his siblings in abject poverty.

McCourt returned to NewYork in 1949, where he managed to survive doing odd jobs, until he was drafted during The Korean War. On his discharge he managed to bluff his way into New York University, where in 1957 he graduated with a batchelor’s degree in English. He went on to teach at six schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan and earned his master’s degree in 1967. Read More