L’année dernière à Manderley

I’ve long wanted to read – or to write, and I’ve tried1 – something which marries the claustrophobic atmosphere of Daphne du Maurier’s short stories (such as ‘The Birds’ and ‘Don’t Look Now’ obviously, and also ‘The Blue Lenses’), with the formal experimentation of French nouveau-romaniste Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922-2008). Although they both published some of … Continue reading L’année dernière à Manderley

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Calder Books – a celebration

From the briefest of biographical details, John Calder would seem an unlikely revolutionary. Scion of a brewing dynasty, he once stood for election as the Liberal candidate for his home seat of Kinross. But at 90 this Scottish-Canadian publisher is still active, and still fighting against the forces of cultural reaction. Few publishers can claim … Continue reading Calder Books – a celebration

“There’s been a breakdown at the BBC”: the rural horror of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Birds’

It’s my birthday today. I’ve always liked that I share it with two favourite writers: poet and nature writer Kathleen Jamie (born 1962), and the master of mid-20th century English gothic, Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989). I’m going to take a brief look at du Maurier’s short story The Birds, which can be read as an … Continue reading “There’s been a breakdown at the BBC”: the rural horror of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Birds’

“What’s that man doing, Mummy?”

There have been times when, stuck for inspiration but desperate to keep the wheels turning, I’ve turned to a something that I’m interested in to use as the starting point for a story. This has happened more than once. Want to hear about stories you’ll never read by an author you’ve never heard of? Read … Continue reading “What’s that man doing, Mummy?”