(from The Bennet College Reference Library of Electricity) LOOK AWAY NOW bibliophiles - I cut up books. It started with junk mail, when I began looking for hidden messages in unsolicited letters sent in the post. I liked the fact that they had signatures. If I changed the messages, they were still signed, sincerely, by... Continue Reading →
Here is a post about my vivid, handsome, irascible, Grandfather
My grandfather died of a broken heart six weeks after my grandmother. He had not expected to live without her, instead had meticulously planned for her comfort and security on what seemed to him to be the predictable certainty of his own death from a heart attack. But cancer doesn’t like predictions. Cancer, with its usual arrogant flare for such things, changed the story, rendered his meticulous, patriarchal, loving care unnecessary. A heart attack did kill him, but only after the death of my grandmother from bone cancer and the torture of six weeks of bereft and baffled mourning.
John Wood, we called him Grandjohn, was an imposing and impressive man. He came from a teetotal and dutifully obligated chapel background, as austere and spare as his name. He had no faith himself but was imbued with the characteristics of his family’s church, though he seemed to burst those narrow parameters…
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A really insightful article – about my husband’s paintings.
Lately I’ve been having an interesting conversation at work about self-portraits with my colleague Pierre Halé.
Pierre has been painting all his life, but only started self-portraits in the last few months. I was amazed when I saw the first of these little canvas panels, each about 12 x 10 inches.
‘Self-portrait as a fisherman’ looks like someone in the background of a Caravaggio. It is superbly observed. The artist works the oil paint lusciously, sculpting his head as a three-dimensional object. The sense that we’re seeing the momentary play of light over a solid form gives the impression that this is a snapshot of time. It creates a real sense of presence, the spark of life in the viewer’s synapses where you can imagine the expression changing.
Self-portraits are often described (frequently by me) as being a self-advertisement, or a form of artistic self-therapy. Rembrandt – 120 self-portraits and counting…
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Review - In Our Mad And Furious City, by Guy Gunaratne This is a truly wonderful book, I really urge you to read it. The writing is beautiful, portraying the violence and love of lives pulled into awkward, sometimes impossible shapes by a mad and furious city that seems to demand all and offer little in... Continue Reading →
This is the micro-fiction (very short story) I entered for the Stirling Prize. I was really pleased to get third place and to be included in the anthology coming at the end of the year. I was also delighted with the judge, novelist Lesley Glaister's comments: "Some beautifully observed detail in this story which really captures... Continue Reading →
Vicious Rumer by Josh Winning is about to be published by Unbound. If you like your thrillers dark and oozing from the underground, I recommend you get hold of a copy. But be careful - she bites. I was so intrigued by Rumer Cross that I went Full Sweeney and hauled her in for questioning. If... Continue Reading →
A snake sheds its skin to leave a ghost of itself, translucent, other-worldly. Waste, if anything that becomes compost on the forest floor can be described as waste. A butterfly emerges from its protective cocoon. A girl becomes a woman with the first spot of blood in the heat and anxiety of puberty. A man... Continue Reading →
In an age when algorithms set the agenda, it becomes crucial for authors to get reviews on sites such as Amazon. I have heard that fifty is the magic number. I am delighted with the dozen or so reviews I have, but would love to accumulate more - several three star reviews will do more... Continue Reading →
Lovely lovely writing from fellow Unbound author Tabitha Sterling. Her book is here:https://unbound.com/books/blood-on-the-banana-leaf/