The latest winner of the Luke Bitmead Award, the prize I won myself back in 2008, Sleeping Patterns is an intelligent, intriguing and ultimately rewarding book. It’s experimental in nature. The author, J.R. Crook, stated in an interview with his publisher that “the most obvious influence on Sleeping Patterns was probably Roland Barthes’s (in)famous essay ‘The Death of the Author,’ together with the related thoughts of Foucault.” He also listed Sartre, Calvino, Joyce, Musil and Pessoa as influences. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you that Sleeping Patterns… Read More
Coming back from vacation is always hard. If you’re working for someone else, you don’t really have a choice – you just have to turn up to work, and gradually you accustom yourself to the work routine again. But if you’re doing something like writing, which requires motivation from within rather than outside, it’s more complicated. The funny thing is, I know what works. I just don’t always do it. Update: this post has been featured at the Third Sunday Blog Carnival I recently took a month off from writing… Read More
Update: this story is no longer available online. If you’re interested, please email me and I’ll send it to you. I just had a new short story published on Solqu Shorts. It’s called Nights on Fair Isle, and tells the story of a young woman who’s just moved to London but still longs for home. She listens to the shipping forecast on the radio each night and thinks of her family, her past, and the stories her mother used to tell her of the sea. It’s the first time I’ve had a… Read More
Coruscating look at the world of politics. If you’ve ever looked at the politicians in your country and wondered why they’re all so bad, this novel goes a long way to explaining it. The book is set in a Caribbean country as it gains independence (it seems like Guyana, but it’s never named). The main character, Jack Lalbahadursingh, grows up poor in the country before being taken to the city by a more well-to-do schoolteacher, Mr Farrington. When he grows up, he decides he wants to become a lawyer helping… Read More
This is an article I wrote 10 years ago today, when I was just starting my journalism master’s degree at Columbia University. Each of us was assigned a New York neighbourhood as our “beat” – mine was Crown Heights in Brooklyn. I went out there and interviewed people on Eastern Parkway about their reactions to the upcoming one-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and discovered that their views were more nuanced than the flag-waving sentiment engulfing much of the nation at the time. It’s an article that means a… Read More
It’s exactly ten years ago that I took the first serious step towards my dream of becoming a writer. I’d written before that, of course – a few short stories, a chapter or two of a novel. But I didn’t really believe that I could be a writer, and so everything was half-done, squeezed in between the other events of my life, a hobby more than a way of life. Ten years ago, I decided to get serious. I quit the high-paid, high-status corporate banking job that had always made… Read More
British crime writer Tom Quigley tagged me a while back in the Lucky Seven challenge, which involves publishing an extract from a current work in progress. Travelling delayed my response, but here it is. The rules were to go to page 7, line 7 of my work-in-progress novel, and post the following 7 lines of prose. I chose to post from A Virtual Love, which is in the editing stage at the moment and is due to come out in spring 2013. Here it is: To anyone else she’d appear… Read More
With the newspapers and blogs full of recommendations for books to take with you on your summer holidays, I decided to do something a little different. My suggestion is not to take any books at all – bring some back instead. Click here to read the full post, which I wrote as a guest on Read.Learn.Write.