‘Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic’: reviewing the eclectic latest release from Simon Armitage

‘This morning I’m bored shitless by poetry’ declares Simon Armitage in one of the poems compiled in his latest collection, ‘Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic’, named after the weather station of the same name. It’s a bold line – especially considering his recent appointment as the new Poet Laureate – but is equally one which showcases […]

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Lifetime achievement: Reflecting on Sir Kazuo Ishiguro’s Bodley award win

Upon a brilliant expanse of midnight blue lies a single, gold-leafed tree standing atop a great white hill. The words The Buried Giant are printed boldly underneath. Simple, but elegant. Uncomplicated, by mystical. Seemingly ordinary, but entirely unprecedented. My first expression of Kazuo Ishiguro and his masterpiece was powerful, and ever since I have remained […]

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‘The Light Beyond the Garden Wall’: an interview with Scott Whitehead on his new novel

Five years ago Christ Church student Scott Whitehead started writing his now finished novel ‘The Light Beyond the Garden Wall’. Set in the Middle East in 700BC, the story is a part historical, part inspirational fiction which follows the prophet Isaiah and the challenges involved in his coming of age. Going through an extremely difficult […]

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Five underrated classics

1.Cane, Jean Toomer (1923) – Harlem Renaissance author Toomer beautifully interweaves lyric, prose and drama in this series of vignettes written about the cultural history and experiences of African Americans in the United States. These stories are often pervaded by nauseating violence, such as cruel ostracisation in “Becky” or sexual violence in the “Box Seat”, […]

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Review: The Last Bookshop

Independent bookshops are a dying race, callously destroyed by online purchases and dooming their owners to disillusioning profit losses. However, on 25 Walton Street, a survivor determinedly battles on. The Last Bookshop, providing quaint mint-green tables outside for those who wish to read with a coffee, and a perpetual deal of two books for five […]

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“Describe yourself like a male author would”

A recent Twitter challenge to “describe yourself like a male author would” has gone viral, with women satirising the sexual objectification and tired clichés found in much of contemporary fiction. The challenge was instigated by Whitney Reynolds (media personality and television talk show host) in response to a tweet from Gwen C. Katz, who had […]

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