When I hear Fleabag declare that she has a terrible feeling that she’s a “greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist”, I feel relief. Most days, I have the exact same worry.
It’s 4am in America, a Tuesday in March 2016. In a haze, you notice something start to go wrong with the TV. It seems as though it’s picking up CCTV footage of a suburban family, preparing for a kid’s party while a teen lies silently on the floor – apparently sulking.
The heart of World Book Day is encouraging book haters to become book lovers, to tackle the elitist stereotypes around reading, to give a child a form of escapism. How can we not justify this scheme being useful for adults?
“When I write, I’m not a woman, I’m not a Moroccan, I’m not a Muslim, I am whatever I want.… Love has no nationality,” says author Leïla Slimani. This raises the question, and a paradox for our age: Should authors from a minority background be restricted to writing novels based on their own experience?
Mainstream literature can learn a lot from YA fiction about writing characters. It should be remembered that not all characters need to be straight and white. YA provides a great, safe place for BAME and LGBT+ writers and readers alike to see themselves represented.
Call it the Trump effect: “post-truth” was named Oxford Dictionaries 2016 word of the year. It is no coincidence that the literary memoir has appeared in abundance on shelves ever since.
Over the past few weeks, it has become pretty clear that if there’s one thing the journalism industry loves more than political acronyms, immigration, or Princes Diana, it’s a good, old-fashioned disease story.
One of the most successful and prolific horror writers of all time, Stephen King has sold over 350 million copies of his novels since the start of his career. King’s kingdom expands further than the territories of literature, however, with a new crop of cinematic adaptations gaining worldwide praise and success.
Rainbow colour-coded bookshelves, special edition hardbacks surrounded by fairy lights, atmospheric coffee shop scenes with a splayed open paperback on the table – this is what you can expect to see when scrolling through the 39 million posts under the ‘bookstagram’ hashtag on Instagram.
On the bus back to my accommodation yesterday, a little boy around the age of 8 waved at me from the sidewalk, then yelled “CORONAVIRUS!” before dissolving into giggles with his friends.