How to turn a Ph. D. into a book

  It’s taken you longer and has involved more heartache than you ever imagined possible. You have successfully navigated your viva, made any final corrections, and your Ph. D. is bound ready for a place in the library.   But if you’re intent on an academic career, this is only the beginning. The next stage is to get the Ph. …

The literature of the 1940s

This month, Professor Gill Plain talks about Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and ‘Peace’, her groundbreaking new book on the literary response to this decade of trauma and transformation, published by Edinburgh University Press. What made you want to write on the 1940s? I’ve been interested in the 1940s for a long time. It was the decade that shaped …

Endings – and empathy

When John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman came out in 1969 with its alternative endings, his publishers received angry letters from readers assuming there had been a printing error. In my new novel Given the Choice, I started with a female character who is complicated. She’s intelligent, creative and capable of generosity, but she also resorts to lying when the …

Interview with author Sandi Russell

Harlem-born jazz singer and writer Sandi Russell talks about her novel, COLOR, published this month    1.     What was the inspiration behind COLOR? When my parents retired, they moved from New York City to the area near Jamestown, Virginia, where my mother’s people had been living since before the arrival of the English settlers in the 17th Century. That area …

Sexism, censorship and the internet

 It now seems impossible not to engage with networking sites such as facebook. As more and more family members and friends sign up, facebook offers a way to stay in touch. There are also professional reasons to join. As I discovered recently while working with Moving Stories Theatre on the play of Vanessa and Virginia, networking sites are crucial in …

Writing music for the theatre

With Elizabeth Wright’s stage play of Vanessa and Virginia continuing at the Riverside Studios in London this month, by the award-winning Moving Stories Theatre under the direction of Emma Gersch, I asked the play’s musical director Jeremy Thurlow about writing music for the theatre and Vanessa and Virginia specifically.   – Where did you begin with creating music for Vanessa …

Theatre design for Vanessa and Virginia

This month, Elizabeth Wright’s play of Vanessa and Virginia returns for a three-week run at London’s Riverside Studios with Moving Stories Theatre, under the direction of Emma Gersch. The cast is Kitty Randle and Alice Frankham. I asked the show’s designer, Kate Unwin, about her work. What made you want to become a theatre designer?  I was doing a degree …