Writing

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…

Why do my American friends keep asking me to marry them?

12 June 2021 9:00 am

My diary has been filled with dental appointments, reflecting a truism that American dentists pray for British teeth. The tally…

Letters: The beauty of brick

22 May 2021 9:00 am

The Union in peril Sir: Fraser Nelson (‘The great pretender’, 15 May) writes that it has never been easier to…

The Proustian power of handwriting

15 May 2021 9:00 am

Towards the end of April, my mum sent me a letter. She doesn’t write as a rule — we speak…

The joy and suffering of writing a book

3 April 2021 9:00 am

Spring is coming. There was snow in the garden till last week, here in Canada, where I have been spending…

The poetic beauty of science

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Safe spaces, diversity quotas, gender-neutral pronouns, culturally relative facts, heteronormative hegemony. Are my right-on credentials right on enough? Am I…

How I’d write Covid: The Thriller

13 March 2021 9:00 am

How I’d write Covid: The Thriller

John le Carré’s wild MI6 Christmas parties

13 February 2021 9:00 am

In the middle of December, for reasons I’m coming to, I woke early in a posh hotel. I lay semi-dozing…

‘People confuse sadness with darkness’: the complicated world of Mary Gaitskill

19 December 2020 9:00 am

An interview with the American novelist Mary Gaitskill

City of gold: Peter Ackroyd on the undimmed spirit of London

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Peter Ackroyd on the undimmed spirit of London

We don't want pandemic novels – we want gentle escapism

28 November 2020 9:00 am

I’m often asked when I’ll write a pandemic novel. I’m not sure I’d ever be tempted, though the backdrop of…

Bangkok’s unravelling was easy to see coming

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Three years ago I sat down to write a novel set in my adopted home city. Placing its claustrophobic action…