Hélène Cixous and the art of dreaming

My blog guest this month is Cecily Davey who discusses Hélène Cixous’s intriguing book of dream-writing Dream I Tell You. ‘Dreamoir’: Hélène Cixous and the Secrets of the Unconscious ‘They tell me their stories in their language, in the twilight, all alike or almost, half gentle half cruel, before any day, any hour. I don’t wake, the dream wakes me…’  Have  …

writing practice

I joined in a conversation with Alice Thompson for a new publication launched last month edited by Katherine Cooper and Emma Short. Here is a short extract from the book about my own approach to writing historical fiction. I never find it easy to begin writing and am capable of great inventiveness when it comes to displacement activities. The rest …

The new world of self-publishing

Book publishing (as the recent Penguin Random House merger indicates) may be in crisis, but more and more authors are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by new technologies to go it alone. This month my blog guest Ruth Pickvance shares her experience of self-publishing her novel Tranquilino, and asks whether we are on the cusp of a new writing …

Katherine Mansfield’s Legacy

On October 14th, the day of Katherine Mansfield’s birthday, I took part in a celebration organised by the Katherine Mansfield Society in the Keynes Library in London’s Bloomsbury, with writers Ali Smith and Salley Vickers. The theme of this year’s birthday lecture was Mansfield’s ‘legacy’, to which Sally Vickers responded by outlining the impact Mansfield has had on her and …

Spanish reading suggestions

  My blog guest this month is Marina Cano López, with a selection of interesting Spanish reads When Susan first asked me what Spanish writers I would recommend, I wanted to come up with a list of female authors, because this is where my own research interests lie. In fact, the list I made had few women on it, and …

What writers can learn from the Olympic games

Despite all I feel about the cost of hosting the Olympic games in London this summer (siphoning funds that could, in my view, have been put to much better use), I have to confess to finding the dawn-to-dusk media coverage not only impossible to boycott, but also on occasion compelling. For example, women’s archery. Amazon-like contestants raise their bows, release …

Tribute to Hélène Cixous

Hélène Cixous celebrated her 75th birthday in Paris recently. Here is my personal tribute to her extraordinary literary oeuvre. READING IN TANDEM: THE GIFTS OF H.C. Before reading, came looking. Before understanding, already such surprise. For instance: Partie. Where does the book begin? Does it have two beginnings? If it does, what happens to ending? And which of the two …