Writing, and some other follies
“A literary triumph.”
“I am blown away by Kidland. It is extraordinary.”
“This unique initiative may challenge your way of thinking.”
“A watershed study, a crucially important book.”
“Accessible, impassioned and persuasive.”
My fiction debut The Wake, published in 2014, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Folio Prize, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and won the Gordon Burn Prize. A tale of lost gods, fractured lives and haunted fens, set during the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, The Wake is written throughout entirely in its own language – a shadow version of Old English made intelligible for the modern reader.
Reviewing it in The Guardian, novelist Adam Thorpe described The Wake as ‘a literary triumph.’ Philip Pullman has described the book as ‘extraordinary’, Heathcote Williams has called it ‘an astonishing feat of imagination’, and Jay Griffiths says it is ‘an extraordinary, orginal and spellbinding book.’ Also writing in The Guardian, Lucy Mangan said that reading The Wake was ‘to be immersed in the past and in a story in a way that I haven’t really felt since childhood’, and called it ’the most glorious experience I’ve had with a book in years.’
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Published in Tricycle, February 2015
The greatest ecological crisis in the Earth’s history began with the emission of climate-changing gases by an organism that had spread widely across the planet, colonising many of its ecological niches. These gases – the waste products of its lifestyle – gradually accumulated in the atmosphere. For a long time nothing noticeably changed, but at some stage a tipping point was reached and the…
Published in the New Statesman, 11 December 2014
England, Arise: the People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381 by Juliet Barker. Little, Brown, £25 “The study of the past with one eye, so to speak, on the present, is the source of all the sins and sophistries in history,” insisted the historian Herbert Butterfield in 1931. His famous warning against what he called the “Whig interpretation of history” – viewing…
Published in the London Review of Books, 23 October 2014
Don’t Even Think about It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall Bloomsbury, 272 pp, £20.00, October 2014 This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. The Climate by Naomi Klein Allen Lane, 576 pp, £20.00, September 2014 It was at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that governments first agreed to do something about climate change. The UN Framework…
Designed and built long ago and kept on life support by spanner.