Literary Fiction

Author News: A Grace Given in Sorrow – Stories as Soulcraft with Edward Cooke

This was originally posted on the Transmundane Press blog for the anthology “After the Happily Ever After”, published December 2016

Bruno Bettelheim has had a bad press. He’s been pilloried for extending the influence of nurture much further than we’re comfortable with. He was even so unfashionable as to believe we could all be nurtured by exposure to stories. In The Uses of Enchantment he puts it like this:

“Explaining to a child why a fairy tale is so captivating… destroys… the story’s enchantment. Adult interpretations rob the child of the opportunity… through repeated hearing and ruminating about the story, to cope successfully with a difficult situation. We grow, we find meaning in life and security in ourselves, by having understood and solved personal problems on our own, not by having them explained to us by others.” Continue reading “Author News: A Grace Given in Sorrow – Stories as Soulcraft with Edward Cooke”

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls is probably my top film of this year: beautifully made and heartrendingly emotional. Both the film and the original book were written by Patrick Ness and the film opened in cinemas last week.

The story revolves around Conor, a 13 year old boy trying to cope with his mother’s cancer as she tries one treatment after another. He is plagued by a recurring nightmare where a huge sinkhole opens up and almost swallows both him and his mother if only he holds tightly to her. Continue reading “A Monster Calls”

On Stage: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Last December, a former pub on Gillygate in York (dubbed the Fleeting Arms) was transformed into a smoky speakeasy in 1920s America to tell the story of the great Gatsby. Surely you’ve heard of him? He has lots of money and a big house which is always full of people, but the man himself is an enigma and people even say he once killed a man… Continue reading “On Stage: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald”

Edith Pargeter’s Greatest Hits

Strangely enough, the historical romances of Edith Pargeter are not as easy to find as her crime-writing alter ego Ellis Peters, but in my view, that makes the finding of them all the more satisfying (after all, who knows what other treasures you may find in bookshops?) However, after years of searching, I believe I have read pretty much all of them, and here’s my top recommendations: Continue reading “Edith Pargeter’s Greatest Hits”

Short Stories With a Twist: Arcana by Edward Cooke

Opening this week’s theme is Arcana, a collection of 21 short stories by Edward Cooke, which you can read on your Kindle or computer for just £2! These are stories to make you think, and my favourite has to be “Insulating Roll”, which takes a wry look at sustainable living…  Continue reading “Short Stories With a Twist: Arcana by Edward Cooke”

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