Writing

Why I self-publish my books

13 January 2024 9:00 am

The appeal of apricity

25 November 2023 9:00 am

Letter from Thailand

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Many of my friends, stranded by the Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strikes, have temporarily given up their film projects and…

Don’t cancel Beatrix Potter

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Don’t cancel Beatrix Potter

The reactionary bohemian: Jeremy Clarke was one of a kind

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Modestly brilliant, dedicatedly hedonistic — Jeremy Clarke was a complete one-off

Turkey is at an existential crossroads

20 May 2023 9:00 am

The wonderful Barbara Kingsolver wrote that hope is something you should not admire from a distance, but rather live inside…

The strange inspiration of the Gobi desert

22 October 2022 9:00 am

The first time I went to Mongolia was in 2014, when I travelled across the country with the actress Michelle…

Why your more successful friends will drop you

3 September 2022 9:00 am

How success kills friendships

Where does a mother’s history end and a daughter’s begin?

23 July 2022 9:00 am

Where does a mother’s history end and a daughter’s begin?

A vroom of one’s own: how I loved my old Mini

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Oh how I loved my old Mini

I’ve written the perfect book

28 May 2022 9:00 am

I met a Canadian couple for lunch in Edinburgh. They were from Vancouver – he a judge, she an opera…

Does knotted string constitute ‘writing’?

16 April 2022 9:00 am

What particularly excites Silvia Ferrara, the author of The Greatest Invention, is not language per se but writing – that…

Is this Premier Inn all I’ll be remembered for?

16 April 2022 9:00 am

It’s fairly commonplace for people to wonder what, if anything, they’ll be remembered for. I’m going to be 59 later…

Howard Jacobson superbly captures the terrible cost of becoming a writer

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Howard Jacobson, who turns 80 this year, published his first novel aged 40. Since then he has produced roughly a…

What Putin has in common with Hitler

26 February 2022 9:00 am

We are always cautioned against comparing a modern political event with those that led up to the second world war.…

The delicate business of writing poetry

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Living, as Clive James put it, under a life sentence, and having refused chemotherapy, I find I respond to the…

P.J. O’Rourke’s death marks the end of a great satirical era

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Fond memories of the great satirist

The hypocrisy of actors

22 January 2022 9:00 am

I’ve been keeping a journal for nearly 60 years. There are piles of the damn things in archives and covered…

The moment I fell in love with music

18 December 2021 9:00 am

I’ve lived in Chelsea for the past 35 years. Since 2002, I’ve photographed everything I find interesting here — churches,…

Why is Microsoft offended by ‘Mrs Thatcher’?

18 December 2021 9:00 am

The interregnum between incumbents is a well-known and often elongated process in the Church of England. I have recently witnessed…

How we rediscovered the charms of haiku

6 November 2021 9:00 am

They got me through the past year

Fight club: when book groups turn nasty

30 October 2021 9:00 am

When book groups turn nasty

Why I became a writer

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Whenever I give talks to children about my books they always ask who inspired me to be a writer. I…

The life of an ambassador’s wife

25 September 2021 9:00 am

‘One day,’ she writes, ‘we had the Minister for Northern Ireland for the night. He arrived wearing a kilt, which…

Why I gave up writing fiction

7 August 2021 9:00 am

When, three years ago, I announced my retirement from writing fiction, the only thing that surprised me was the surprise…