New Editor wanted at Granta and Charles Moore’s lavish book launch

Book news.

John Freeman, the Editor of Granta magazine, will leave to teach creative writing at Columbia University following the publication of their next issue: “Travel”. Sigrid Rausing, the magazine's publisher, is currently on the look out for a replacement.

Over 150,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the UK government take “decisive action [to] make Amazon pay its fair share of UK corporation tax”. The petition drafted by Frances and Keith Smith, independent booksellers from London, was inspired by Margaret Hodge’s questioning of representatives from Google, Amazon and Starbucks last November.

In a throwback to the heyday of publishing, Charles Moore’s authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher was launched at a lavish book party in the Banqueting House in Westminster. David Cameron and George Osborne were in attendance. Jeffery Archer was spotted buying a copy of the book at the temporary stand on the evening, so eager was he, and a number of others, to get hold of a copy.

John le Carré has published his 23rd novel: A Delicate Truth. The team behind Skyfall and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy have made a short film to celebrate. Watch it here.

Finally, for the discerning voyeur, 25 rare photographs of famous authors.

World Book Day in Bucharest, Romania. Image: Getty Images.

Book talk from the New Statesman culture desk.

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"Samphire": a poem by Alison Brackenbury

"Yet how it waved, in coast’s late light. . . ."

My grandmother could cook it, for
she grew up by that dangerous shore
where the sea skulked without a wall

where I have seen it, tough as grass,
where silent men with rods trooped past
its salty ranks, without a glance.

Lear’s gatherer hangs perilously.
Why? So much is closed to me.
Did Shakespeare ever hear the sea?

Once, said my father, far inland,
from friend or stall, one clutch was found,
steamed, in my grandmother’s great pan.

Once, a smooth leaflet from a shop
claimed they could “source it”, but they stocked
bunched, peppered cress – Another gap.

Yet how it waved, in coast’s late light,
stalks I will never taste, could make
tenderly dark, my coast’s sly snake,
salt on my tongue, before I wake.

Alison Brackenbury is an award-winning poet. Her ninth collection, Skies, will be published by Carcanet in March

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The legacy of Europe's worst battle