Monthly Archives: August 2010

Futile preoccupations…?

A few weeks ago Rob at the Fiction Desk reviewed Any Human Face and, with great generosity, gave away ten free copies of the novel. One of the copies went to the man behind the book blog His Futile Preoccupations… … Continue reading

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Snail-keeping and Sunday salons

Clare Dudman, author of A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees (which I’m currently reading and wholeheartedly recommend – but more of that later), has interviewed me for her Sunday Salon on her literary blog, Keeper of the Snails. We … Continue reading

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The Slaughteryard

Assuming you know nothing of the work of the nineteenth century Argentine writer Esteban Echeverria, you can approach this book, one of the Friday Project’s Library of Lost Books, in two ways. The first is to cut to the chase … Continue reading

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Yin yang? Hmm

Is it just me or are the two people with Barbara Cartland in this photograph Peter Mandelson and Paul McCartney in drag?

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According to an article in today’s Independent, Maria Vittoria Brambilla, the Italian minister for tourism (seen here discussing policy with her employer), has announced that the Palio di Siena, the traditional horse races that occupy the city’s main square for … Continue reading

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Will this pleasure never end?

If any of you are lucky, or clever, enough to be able to read Arabic you can now enjoy The Scent of Cinnamon in translation, in the Albawtaqa Review. For more information, click here.

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Thirty years ago today I was teaching English at a summer school in Malvern. The students, aged between 12 and 16, were mostly from Europe and the largest group came from Italy. They rarely watched the television – I don’t … Continue reading

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