At seven, I'd never been in a restaurant, thought rice was exclusively for pudding and understood dinner to mean a meal eaten at lunch time, that always involved potatoes
Barnhill: Inside Orwell’s mind as he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four on Jura
"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.
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.
Motherwell and memory
"It is hard to know what's a revelation of hindsight and what's a projection that helps you to bolster you own story."
Insurrection: Scotland’s Famine Winter
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