"It's no accident that Nineteen Eighty-Four again became an American bestseller when Trump was elected." - Norman Bissell on what he learned from writing Barnhill, his novel about George Orwell's final years and the creation of his masterpiece.
Heaven and earth seem closer here than they do in the city
I've belatedly got round to posting a story about my adventures in the hotel business which I did for CNN Travel earlier this year (2020), at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown. You can read it on their website using the link below. I've also copied it below in case they take it down. I … Continue reading My Basil Fawlty years: a cautionary tale
The capacity to trigger unsettling emotions is part of the dangerous beauty of books and grief can resurface as smoothly and silently as a seal.
"It is hard to know what's a revelation of hindsight and what's a projection that helps you to bolster you own story."
Highland historian Jim Hunter's, Insurrection: Scotland's Famine Winter, had a particular resonance for me. The Hebrides and the Moray Firth, two of the main locations in his account of what happened after the potato blight arrived in Scotland in the summer of 1846, provided the backdrop to my childhood. As a young boy, I'd scramble … Continue reading Insurrection: Scotland’s Famine Winter