Reading List Discrimination

Of course there are much bigger problems in the world for feminism than reading lists. No one’s disputing that. But a lot of people cannot see that there is really any problem with reading lists. They argue that it’s important to study the best writers, and if those writers tend to be white and male, […]

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To a Dog on the Beach

As you skid over pebbles and pad through the sea’s edge, you will not notice the piled clouds like mountains in China. You will not notice the shells which spell out incantations or the salt wind which whites them out. You could not predict you’d end up here. But the guesswork is not what matters. […]

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In Defence of E-books

I recently started reading a novel. I’ve been reading it on a tablet, actually. It’s called Newtons Sleep (and no, that’s not a typo), by a writer called Daniel O’Mahony. It’s about… well, I’m still figuring that out, but from what I gather so far it’s about England in the immediate aftermath of the Civil […]

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Interview: Tony Rauch

What in particular draws you to the short story form as opposed to the novel? Well, every writer is different, but to me novels seem to get overloaded with unnecessary background filler. No one cares what a character had for breakfast. Also, a lot of character development rings false to me. It seems contrived. People […]

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The Return

The Prodigal Son is facing the ground. The pictures are taken and he walks, slow across the courtyard, away from the sound of laughter. And now, no longer on show he undoes one button, puts his smile down, head in hands. Thoughts, his element, become a heavy burden. He shows in a frown his need […]

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Mary Beard: Interview

Was there a particular moment when you discovered your passion for Ancient Roman history? Those moments are always mythical and mythologised, but I have vivid memories of when the ancient world (not so much the Roman world) first struck me.  I was five years old and had been taken to London, and to the British […]

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