A Brief History of the Clinch

On the most iconic image in romance novel history. 

The Life, Death, and Rebirth of MTV Books

How much influence did MTV expect to wield when it came to young readers’ literary interests?

The David Foster Wallace Disease

It’s funny, knowing that, if I were living in one of my favourite minds, I might want to turn it off.

Send in the Swans

Fifty years later, Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, called variously the party of the year, the decade, and the century, proves his definitive final creative act.

Being a Little Like Leonard Cohen

Reading The Favourite Game made him into my first sex symbol. 

Fall to Pieces: On Elena Ferrante and My Own Frantumaglia

I finally have a word to describe my fear of the fragmented world. 

Reading Bored White Girls

Their suburban lives are free of disturbances, and so they create their own in order to taste some kind of excitement.

Great Missenden Plays Itself

Exploring the town where Roald Dahl lived for the last thirty-five years of his life, and where some of his most famous writing is subtly but unmistakably set.

Straight to Hellmouth: When Punk and Magic Meet

There can be fantastic narrative dissonance when conflicting elements clash.

No Hex in the Cryo Tube: Can Science Fiction and Fantasy Coexist?

Readers who embrace futuristic narratives about artificial intelligences or evolved dolphins may balk at those about magicians or goblins, but creators are increasingly bridging the genre gap.