This tag is associated with 9 posts

Guest Author – Barry Walsh on Writing fiction from your own life

This morning I had the pleasure of catching up with Wendy Wallace who was my first ever Guest Author on the Literary Sofa just over a year ago. I’m delighted at how popular this regular slot has become; the ‘one-question interview’ formula produces thought-provoking pieces every time.  I read the novel and ask the author … Continue reading

Book Review – Arcadia by Lauren Groff

The question of what literary fiction is, or isn’t, is one that both frustrates and fascinates me.  I’ve read many novels designated literary and not understood what distinguishes them from really well-written commercial fiction (now sometimes referred to as upmarket commercial).  One criterion common to the various definitions of literary fiction is that the writing itself, the … Continue reading

Book Review – Life! Death! Prizes! by Stephen May

I wanted variety in my Fiction Hot Picks for 2012 and this book is certainly different, even down to the way it made it onto the list. Most of the novels are included because I’d heard the author’s agent/editor raving about them, which they are after all paid to do; thanks to their good judgement I haven’t had a … Continue reading

Book Review – Jubilee by Shelley Harris

My memories of childhood are surprisingly indistinct.  When I say ‘childhood’, I mean up to the age of 11 or so (I recall the next 10 years with excruciating clarity). I guess I was happily growing up in the country, playing (OK, fighting) with my sister, having a generically uneventful time.  Of course a few … Continue reading

Columbia Road Market in Words & Pictures

Yesterday was the day for one of our festive family traditions.  By that, I mean my own little family, which is me, my husband and our two sons age 13 and 9, whose childhood experiences of Christmas are different to mine in every way.  I took a few pictures, which gave me the idea for this … Continue reading

Book Review: Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

For once, my book group didn’t take issue with the novel which won the Booker prize this year, but when we decided to read one from the shortlist, Pigeon English was the unamimous choice even though I don’t think any of us was actually looking forward to it.   Debut author Stephen Kelman’s impetus to write … Continue reading

Book Review: Florence & Giles by John Harding

I came to this book with no preconceptions, having bought it on Kindle because someone on Twitter had recommended it as a Victorian ghost story.   That’s all I knew.   I may have been attracted by the title Florence & Giles – titles made up of two first names are rare and bold, and the novel itself … Continue reading

Book Review: Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch

I feel as though I’ve robbed Ben Hatch.  To have paid only  99p on Kindle for Are We Nearly There Yet? doesn’t seem right.  But I’m going to make up for it by buying some hard copies because it would make a brilliant Christmas present for anyone who (sorry, this is quite a list):  has kids … Continue reading

The Time We Had: 20 years later, I remember my Dad

My Dad died 20 years ago this week, on 14 October 1991, of a rare kidney cancer which can’t be diagnosed until it’s too late.  He was 58.  I was already considering writing something about him because of his anniversary, but it was the death last week of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple at the … Continue reading