Stuff & Nonsense Blog

Making Ends Meet

American author Ann Patchett gets straight to the point: ‘The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living. My short stories and novels have always filled my life with meaning, but … they were no more … Continue reading Making Ends Meet


Two Heads Are Better than One

I’ve always thought of writing as a solitary activity. I imagine myself reflected in Martin Amis’s description: ‘It is a sort of sedentary, carpet slippers, self-inspecting, nose-picking, arse-scratching kind of job, just you in your study and there is absolutely no way round that.’ Additionally, I have a superstition about discussing ideas before I write … Continue reading Two Heads Are Better than One

Winter’s Reading

If on a winters’ night a traveller had come and described this novel to me, I’d have gone cross-eyed and then run a mile. I knew Italo Calvino was a name uttered with reverence, but I came upon his ‘If on a Winters’ Night a Traveller’ (1980; English translation 1983) cold, so to speak. It … Continue reading Winter’s Reading