The 21st-Century Novel

Contemporary creative writers reflect on the past, present and future of the novel In 2012-2013, a year-long conversation between writers took place at 17 literary festivals around the world, from Jaipur to Krasnoyarsk, and from Melbourne to Berlin. Distinguished novelists such as Irvine Welsh, Ahdaf Soueif and Ali Smith shared their thoughts on various aspects of contemporary literature the challenges it faces and the directions it is taking....

Continue reading

Inside Pepys' London. Jonathan Bastable

In 1982, just after I turned 20, I went to live in Leningrad for a year. I was cold and hungry most of the time, and most of my Russian friends were miserable or scared or both. The winter was dark and long, and the regime was oppressive. It was by far the happiest year of my life.That year, and subsequent years spent at Moscow University as a postgrad, provided much of the core material for Devil's Acre. But I wasn' t then a writer, not...

Continue reading

British Prime Ministers. Jonathan Bastable

In 1982, just after I turned 20, I went to live in Leningrad for a year. I was cold and hungry most of the time, and most of my Russian friends were miserable or scared or both. The winter was dark and long, and the regime was oppressive. It was by far the happiest year of my life.That year, and subsequent years spent at Moscow University as a postgrad, provided much of the core material for Devil's Acre. But I wasn' t then a writer, not...

Continue reading