David Walliams, BookTok and ’embarrassing’ novels: The death of the supermarket book shelf

Published in The i on November 6, 2023

Once upon a time, in the land of book publishing, a set of retailers ruled with great power: the supermarket was king, shaping British novel-buying tastes and making authors’ careers. By 2009, one-in-five books was being sold in supermarkets – often at a hefty discount that was tempting to consumers.

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When Britain was gripped by ‘fairy mania’

Published in BBC Culture on September 18, 2023

Imagine a fairy. Is the picture that appears in your mind’s eye a tiny, pretty, magical figure – a childish wisp with insect-like wings and a dress made of petals?  

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Review: The Stirrings, Catherine Taylor

Published in The Telegraph on July 16, 2023

In the mid-1800s, Sheffield’s success as the Steel City was built on long hours and unsafe working conditions. This led to the Outrages, also known as the Stirrings: union militants resorted to violent protest, blowing up factories and murdering employers, a period immortalised in Alan Cullen’s 1966 musical, The Stirrings in Sheffield on Saturday Night.

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Review: Ordinary Human Failings, Megan Nolan

Published in The Observer on July 2, 2023

Megan Nolan’s lauded debut novel, which excavated with painful precision the interior life of a young woman beholden to a toxic partner, was called Acts of Desperation. Her follow-up could share the same title: in Ordinary Human Failings, the Irish-born, London-based author and journalist proves desperation is her special subject.

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Naoise Dolan on The Happy Couple: ‘Marriage has been an overwhelmingly violent institution’

Published in The i on May 30, 2023

When Dublin-born writer Naoise Dolan published her first novel, Exciting Times, the title might’ve seemed a little cruel: we were in the first lockdown of 2020, and it can’t have seemed like the most exciting moment to launch a debut.

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Review: Enter Ghost, Isabella Hammad

Published in The Observer on March 28, 2023

Isabella Hammad impressed with her debut novel, The Parisian. The story of a Palestinian man navigating upheaval at home and abroad during the first half of the 20th century, its marriage of the personal and the political was notably assured for a twentysomething writer.

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Review: WARHOLCAPOTE, Rob Roth

Published in The TLS on January 6, 2023

In 1948 a young Andy Warhol read Truman Capote’s first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, and became obsessed with the writer. On moving to New York a few years later, he started sending fan letters to Capote, hanging around outside his house until they got talking, and after that phoned him every day. His first show in the city was called Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote.

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Why real love stories aren’t about fate or destiny

Published in The Independent on May 26, 2022

Have you ever wondered if you would have fallen in love with the same people if you’d lived in a different time? Would you even have met them, in an era with different social mobility – and if you had, would the relationships have worked out?

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What Time is Love is published!

My debut novel is now out in the world… available in hardback, as an eBook and as an audiobook. For links to online retailers, click here, or The LRB Bookshop and Waterstones in Sheffield have some signed copies!

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