By Cathy Eden I smell him before I see him: feral, dank, his scuffed denims exuding the mustiness of last night’s inhospitable subway. He’s at the till beside me. He’s about my son’s age, good looking under the thick black beard. How many months has it been since he’s shaved? Perhaps five or six. His hair curls and knots in his neck, like a ragged pelt. If he were a […]

Categories: BLOG: On my mind

Helen Macdonald’s celebrated memoir, H is for Hawk (Penguin Random House), left me with mixed feelings. The detail is exquisite, but the more I read, the clearer it became that I am fundamentally unsympathetic to falconry. I don’t relate to the furtiveness, the isolation, the obsession and the angst; I see nothing noble in ploughing through muddy fields, ripping clothes and flesh on brambles and fences, all for the purpose […]

Categories: BLOG: On my mind

Lynn Shepherd’s whine about JK Rowling in The Huffington Post cannot go unchallenged. Shepherd is a novelist and copywriter, who, by her own account, has not read one word of the Harry Potter series. Despite this obvious prerequisite to handing out criticism, she says, ‘I did think it a shame that adults were reading them (rather than just reading them to their children, which is another thing altogether), mainly because […]

Categories: BLOG: On my mind

They call them the Harmony mines, these shafts plunged deep into Virginia’s earth. Nothing harmonious about the way they forced her to yield her treasure then hurried from the devastation and disarray, leaving her plundered, gaping, with only a spiteful wind to witness the outrage, sauntering, probing the evidence of her ruin: a water bottle, a single boot, the brittle bits of plastic men leave in their wake. Among the […]

Categories: BLOG: On my mind
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