What is Literature?

[This was first delivered as a lecture to the Creative Writing MA students at Birkbeck on 5th May 2015. As preparation for this, the students were asked to look at Keston Sutherland’s reading of HOT WHITE ANDY on YouTube.]   When I choose a subject to talk about, in this summer lecture, I try to find […]

James Frey: An Interview

[This interview with James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, took place on August 1st 2008 at the Covent Garden Hotel. James Frey was promoting his novel Bright Shiny Morning. The interview was commissioned by Waterstones’ Books Quarterly Magazine, and appeared there in shortened form. Here is the full thing.] Whether or not his […]

Muriel Spark: An Interview About Interviews

[This interview was conducted, the fax says, 21 Sep 2000 at 10:05.]  TL: In Curriculum Vitae you say, ‘It seemed to me that the Comforters of Job were not at all distinct characters; they were very much of one type. They were, in fact, like modern interrogators who come to interview and mock the victim […]

Intimately Uninvolved: Notes of a Librettist

Vastation When it gets to curtain up, The Librettist is intimately uninvolved in the opera she has co-written. She is aware that, some time in the past, if her fingers had struck a different arrangement of keys, then what is about to happen would be other. That this character is already on stage – that […]

December 2014

There’s been activity. Life-Like is out. It’s a collection of interlinked short stories, concerning the lives of Paddy & Agatha (from Ghost Story) and the individuals that they meet, and the individuals that those individuals meet, and so on. Some of the stories have appeared elsewhere:  ‘Paddy & Kavita’, SHORT FICTION, Issue 2, 2008, edited by Anthony Caleshu ‘Agatha […]

W.G.Sebald

    ‘Because I cannot hope to turn again Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something Upon which to rejoice.’ T.S.Eliot. ‘Ash Wednesday’   With W.G.Sebald’s death his books changed essentially. At the time (the 11th of December 2001) I had read only two of them: The Rings of Saturn and Vertigo. I was intending […]