Category: Essay

EXCLUSIVE: The Evolution of a Story by Tim Major

My first short story collection, And the House Lights Dim, was recently published by Luna Press. Its contents are billed as ‘strange stories about houses, homes and families’. The stories were written over a three-year period, and it was only when I started to prepare them as a collection that I realised just how prevalent

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The Role of the Middle-Aged White Man by Benjamin Myers

The role of the middle-aged white man? The role of the middle-aged white man is to shut his mouth and step aside. The role of the middle-aged white man is to not practice his saxophone in a studio flat. The role of the middle-aged white man is clear the lane and make space for the

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ESSAY: Call Me By Your Name vs Enigma Variations by Christa Wojciechowski

After reading the first few paragraphs of Call me By Your Name, I was like a starved woman shoving food into my mouth as fast I could. André Aciman is the writer of love that I have been waiting for all my life, since I was a girl who read Marguerite Duras and felt the

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GUEST POST: Authorial Desire Vs. Reality: How Important is Fidelity to the Truth? By Glen James Brown

The axiom ‘write what you know’ is a limiting one and fiction, I feel, should be about stepping beyond your own experience. A few years ago, I began writing a novel about social housing, industry and popular culture from the 1950s onwards, and as I was born in 1982 serious research was required. But how

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GUEST POST: Story Detour By Michelle Blair Wilker

As a little girl I used to ride a marigold school bus with plastic seats that were dappled into pine. The rows lined up into a precise marching order. The journey home was long, so I trudged to the back and tucked in against the window, crossing my fingers for a solo ride. The sun

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GUEST POST: I’ve Learned a Thing or Two: Lessons from My First Novel by Michael Graves

1. People are touchy about religion. My debut novel, Parade, follows Reggie Lauderdale and Elmer Mott, two cousins trying to navigate adulthood. Along the way, they accidentally burn down a church, win the lottery and create their own glamorized religion. Within Parade, Reggie crafts recipes for a well-lived, spiritual existence. He writes passages such as:

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GUEST POST: How Studying Anthropology Helped Me As A Novelist by Sofka Zinovieff

Like most students of social anthropology, I was required in my first year at university, to write an essay about whether the incest taboo is universal. The answer is: pretty much yes, if you don’t count some ancient Egyptian royals and some differing views about first cousins. But not much else is universal in the

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FILM ARTICLE: IN THE BLOOD, an essay on the film ‘Hereditary’

  (WARNING! The following article contains many spoilers for the film ‘Hereditary’ Consider this your first and last warning!) A generational curse bleeds through Hereditary, Ari Aster’s feature length debut, and candidate for most unsettling film of 2018. When Annie’s (Toni Collette) mother dies, horrific events begin plaguing the family, and as Annie seeks a

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What makes a good story? This is a question I’m often asked, my little lemon drizzles, and depending on who you ask, the results often oscillate from ‘the characters need to be empathetic to the reader,’ to ‘it needs a good plot.’ Other people will tell you that you need to ‘channel what you know’,

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Clever Girl: A Feminist Interpretation of Jurassic Park

There is no unauthorised breeding in Jurassic Park Lurking away under the surface of the well-loved roller-coaster ride that is the brilliant Jurassic Park (1993) film, lies a recurrent phobia of something even more frightening than giant pre-historic predatory dinosaurs: feminism. The film is dense with references to the female body and, more specifically, controlled

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