‘…He is one of those exceptional people that talkshow hosts give thanks for–an author who talks as entertainingly as he writes.‘ (Dick Cavett introduces Anthony Burgess, 1974) The controversy that accompanied the release of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange thrust Anthony Burgess into the media spotlight. … Continue reading From Horrorshow to Chatshow – Burgess on TV
In this short film, made in the early stages of the Drawing Women’s Cancer project, Dr Jac Saorsa explains the premise of the project and presents some of the art. ‘This project is about experience – the profound human experience of negotiating the physical and … Continue reading Dr Jac Saorsa on the Drawing Women’s Cancer Project
The original manuscript of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is held at the British Library and a wealth of material on the poem, and on Arthurian literature in general, can be found on their blog. In this extract from the introduction to his 2009 … Continue reading ‘Not all poems are stories, but Sir Gawain and the Green Knight most certainly is’
Graham Greene’s interest in Latin America went way beyond his novels. Surprisingly, considering his condemnation of revolutionary violence in The Power and the Glory, he was a prominent supporter of Fidel Castro’s government, and later, of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Until the end of his life, … Continue reading ‘If one takes a side, one takes a side, come what may.’
It was the summer of 1910. Wispy cirrus clouds skittered nervously across a pale sky as Lily Briscoe, brush in hand, stood before her easel at the edge of the lawn in front of the Ramsay’s house. From where she was standing she had a clear view of the sea and the rocky coastline of the Isle of Skye, and then, at some distance from the shore and standing out starkly in the soft summer light, the lighthouse, a tall, solitary pharos on a rock barely the size of a tennis court. But her canvas was empty…
More from author Susan M. Gaines in advance of her appearance at Cardiff BookTalk on 17 February – here she shares a few thoughts on one of the unintended consequences of writing a novel where the real protagonists are non-human. ‘We don’t have to read … Continue reading All the Birds in Accidentals
Shirley Jackson’s biographer, Ruth Franklin, discusses the unexpected and complex ways in which the author’s experiences of motherhood fed into her writing. ‘Jackson had always had an imaginative, even magical mind, filled with witchcraft lore, myths, and fantasies of her own devising. Hyman, ever a … Continue reading ‘All the time that I am making beds and doing dishes and driving to town for dancing shoes, I am telling myself stories,’
The Lottery is perhaps Shirley Jackson’s most famous work. A small town gathers one morning to perform its annual lottery, but who will be chosen and for what? This bold and unsettling short story first appeared in The New Yorker where its journalistic, matter-of-fact tone … Continue reading Shirley Jackson reads The Lottery
As part of a series for Tor.com commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of A Wizard of Earthsea’s publication, Gabrielle Bellot considered what Le Guin’s pioneering sci-fi classic meant to her, as well as the ways it pushed against the boundaries of its time while simultaneously not quite pushing far enough.
Betty watches the row of cars waiting to follow the hearse. Or the grand car, as Mr Eden calls it. Betty is pleased that Mother gets a grand car and lots of eyes on her. She’ll like that. The grass is wet around the grave pit. A big brown box is lowered into the earth. Gallagher still isn’t in the crowd; she checked. He will come though.
A man wearing a white robe says a prayer. Mrs Eden cries. Mother hates Mrs Eden. She will hate Mrs Eden crying too. I’ve no time for that green-eyed woman, that’s what Mother says, even though Mrs Eden has brown eyes. Mother’s eyes are a beautiful ice blue.
Betty wanders off to find the nearest tree; it is an oak. She presses her head against its trunk and lets it take some of her weight. The heaviness has returned but she has hardly eaten so shouldn’t she be losing heaviness? Maybe she should have a nap on this branch. Would this be a good place to sleep, Mother? She tries to hoist herself up but her arms are weak as butter. Mr Eden appears then. He smiles gently.
‘Time to go home,’ he says.
‘Where’s home?’ Mr Eden rubs his chin. Grey stubble pricks through the pores.
‘You need to shave,’ she says to be helpful.
‘Hotel Eden,’ he says. ‘It’ll always be your home.’
‘Thank you.’ Because that’s what you’re supposed to say to people who are trying to be kind – and he sounds kind, but she doesn’t really feel thankful.
She feels nothing apart from heaviness.
Taken from The Unforgotten, Chapter 17.