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Greater Minds: Hilary Mantel on the life and project

Shortly before her death, Susan Sontag said ‘that somewhere along the line, one has to choose between the Life and the Project’. Hilary Mantel quoted her in the third of this year’s Reith lectures, while she was talking about the

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Greater Minds: Hilary Mantel on adapting the past

The Reith Lectures are an annual pleasure from the BBC to the world. Every year, a prominent speaker gives a series of lectures on a subject close to their heart, followed by questions from an audience that usually includes some

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Veterans

“She’s a beauty.” I pointed at the tug. “She’s filthy,” said Elizabeth. “She’s all black. She looks as if she’s wearing a gown of her own smoke.” My sister was two years older than me and when she didn’t have

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greenland Shark

A peristaltic spasm threw her from a cold place to a colder place. The change in the cold registered less than the disappearance of the electrical impulses around her snout. She had no name for what she was detecting or

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Red Snow

“What was that?” asked the pilot. “Just turbulence,” said the co-pilot.  “She’s fine.” The pilot heard a voice over the intercom, but the words were indistinct. “Was that you, Dusty?” “Sorry, nothing,” said the navigator.  “Coming up on the coast

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greater Minds: Niall Ferguson and Jane Smiley fight over history

Two historians and a novelist argued about the roles of historian and historical novelist. Niall Ferguson argued that a novelist projects their own view on to past events. Jane Smiley argued that historical fiction and non-fiction are both constructs of

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Steel in the Morning is available in Paperback

Steel in the Morning, my collection of reprinted short stories, is now available in paperback. It’s the same as the version I released on Kindle a couple of years ago, plus Foreclosure which was yet to be published at the

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Posted in Publishing news

Invitation to Ypres

They sent me an invitation to the party, but I didn’t want to go. It was bound to be a bore, and getting there was no fun at all. Hours in cattle trucks and full day’s stroll down Belgian roads

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

An Infirmity of Ideas

Martha’s father didn’t know the chimney channelled the low rumble of his voice into her bedroom. “I must insist on your absolute discretion, doctor,” he was saying. “I understand, I understand.” The doctor’s voice was thinner, conditioned by years of

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

A Rotten Tooth

My tooth hurts, but I’m not going to be the first to step forward. I want to see if he knows what he’s doing first. If Vrouw van Rhyn wants to push her boy to the front, I’m not going

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle
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