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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“The Hole-Up”: a poem by Matthew Sweeney

“You could taste the raw / seagull you’d killed and plucked, / the mussels you’d dug from sand, / the jellyfish that wobbled in your / hands as you slobbered it.”

Lying on your mouth and nose
on the hot sand, you recall
a trip in a boat to the island –
the fat rats that skittered about
after god-knows-what dinner,
the chubby seals staring up,
the sudden realisation that a man
on the run had wintered there
while the soldiers scoured
the entire shoreline to no avail –
you knew now you had been him
out there. You could taste the raw
seagull you’d killed and plucked,
the mussels you’d dug from sand,
the jellyfish that wobbled in your
hands as you slobbered it.
You saw again that first flame
those rubbed stones woke in
the driftwood pile, and that rat
you grilled on a spar and found
delicious. Yes, you’d been that man,
and you had to admit now you
missed that time, that life,
though you were very glad you
had no memory of how it ended.


Matthew Sweeney’s Black Moon was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Prize. His latest collection is Inquisition Lane (Bloodaxe).

This article first appeared in the 21 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The English Revolt