Free Love: an audience with Tessa Hadley – watch on YouTube

We’d like to sign out for 2022 with a big thank you to everyone who braved the elements and came along to our first in person event for over two years: an audience with Tessa Hadley, who read from her latest novel Free Love. Presented … Continue reading Free Love: an audience with Tessa Hadley – watch on YouTube

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‘…but I also need someone in the book who’ll say, oh my god what does she think she’s doing?’

Back in February, Tessa Hadley spoke to Colm Tóibín (Nora Webster, The Magician, Brooklyn) about the newly published Free Love. In an encounter full of energy, the pair get to grips with Phyllis, our protagonist, and the supporting cast of characters who are affected, for … Continue reading ‘…but I also need someone in the book who’ll say, oh my god what does she think she’s doing?’

‘But of course, no, writers don’t want to be nice, one doesn’t want to be thought of as nice’

In this interview from 2019,Tessa Hadley talks about how she developed as a writer. Speaking to Sarah Boon shortly after the publication of Late in the Day, Hadley discusses how her short stories evolved into novels, the importance of having an audience and the influence … Continue reading ‘But of course, no, writers don’t want to be nice, one doesn’t want to be thought of as nice’

‘They create space where there was none, like a tick burrowing into skin’

In this perfectly normal interview with Carmen Maria Machado in which everything is fine, Theodore McCombs interviews the author about her introduction to a new edition of J. Sheridan Le Fanu‘s celebrated gothic novel Carmilla. Regular BookTalkers will know that LeFanu’s iconic, queer vampire is … Continue reading ‘They create space where there was none, like a tick burrowing into skin’

The cover of Her Body and Other Parties showing a green ribbon floating around an anatomical drawing of the muscles of a human neck

‘Life is too short to be afraid of nothing,’ Machado writes. ‘And I will show you.’

Parul Sehgal‘s New York Times review of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado captures something of the collection’s phantasmogoric energy. ‘…There might be no better illustration of the lasting, unsettling power of fairy tales. Despite efforts to sanitize them or give them … Continue reading ‘Life is too short to be afraid of nothing,’ Machado writes. ‘And I will show you.’

‘Once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again’

Regular BookTalkers will know that we’re very into Shirley Jackson, so it was a real pleasure to stumble over this piece in The Atlantic, in which Carmen Maria Machado discusses one of her favorite passages in literature – a scene from Jackson’s masterpiece of the … Continue reading ‘Once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again’

Still from a YouTube clip of Laura van den Berg and Carmen Maria Machado enthusiatically discussing ghost stories

‘I just feel that we need more than reality to accurately describe reality’

In this recent interview for Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center, Carmen Maria Machado and Laura ven den Berg (author of The Third Hotel and I Had a Wolf by the Ears) discuss ghost stories and fairy tales, and explore Machado’s love of short stories. The pair … Continue reading ‘I just feel that we need more than reality to accurately describe reality’