Shiva Naipaul, the younger brother of VS Naipaul, was born in Trinidad in 1945. He died in London in 1985, of a heart attack, at the age of 40. A life cut brutally short, an end brought on, some say, by his excesses and lack of discipline. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Trashing writers – trashing some of England’s leading writers, no less – is what Gabriel Josipovici felt like doing at the end of last month. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

I have always wanted to do this: to read, in tandem, the autobiography and biography of the same person. I managed it last weekend when I read, together, El Diego: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Footballer and Maradona: The Hand of God by Jimmy Burns. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Is writing fiction any different from writing non-fiction? After having published my new novel after two books of non-fiction, I’ve been getting asked this a lot.

My answer – and I know it might sound dilatory/evasive is this: It isn’t, fundamentally, different. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

I have just finished reading Alan Bennett’s incredibly funny novella, The Uncommon Reader (read a review here), which describes what happens when the Queen suddenly becomes passionately devoted to reading. In Bennett’s best style, it is as much a wicked comedy of manners as an inspiring delineation of the pleasures of reading, of why we do, and what might come of it. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 3 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

This is my year of feeling bereft. Some months ago, John Updike, one of my great heroes, passed away. And last month, as I went from panel discussion to reading at the London Book Fair, I heard of the (expected and yet crushing) news of the death of JG Ballard. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...