Whether your hero wears spandex or cat ears, inspirational pop culture figures can help deal with real life difficulties.
“Nobody buys short stories anyway,” says a character, Richard, in the prologue to Kirsty Gunn’s new collection, Infidelities. “No one thinks there’s enough going on.” The challenge from writer to reader is stark; watch out, there will be plenty going on here.
The central tenet of Hard Times is that the economic slump of 2008 and its aftermath have augmented the schisms already present in two rich, but profoundly unequal societies: the UK and the US.
The task Azar Nafisi sets herself here, to build an argument for fiction in western culture, is one that has driven her personal and professional life.
The protagonists of Rose Tremain’s fifth collection of short stories – her first since 2005’s The Darkness of Wallis Simpson – are all operating under some form of constraint: social, sexual, emotional, pressingly immediate or far distant, unrelentingly real or garlanded with imaginative flourishes.
Richard II’s meeting with the rebels is one of the most astonishing moments in English history, as a 14-year-old boy rides out to meet thousands of his armed and angry people.
The life of a forgotten First World War character.
The work of a great artist often appears so fluent, so graceful, that we assume it must have come easily – but nothing in art is worth much if it is not hard won.
In the spirit of festive generosity I would like to offer a helping hand when it comes to surviving the onslaught of hot plonk. Here, food, as in so many situations, is your friend.
The candidates shovel saffron into some trifle.
On screen and off, Hollywood is terrible at giving opportunities to anyone who isn’t white, and one of the US’s biggest stars is calling them out on it.
The Zombie PM