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Tagged with f


It’s Banned Books Week, so expect an even more provocative, hilarious, outrageous and scandalous show than usual! Why are books banned?  Should it ever happen?  Do we self-censor – and should we?  Described by the Danish Prime Minister as the worst international crisis the country had faced since since the Second World War II, the […]

Writing On Rails

The tsunami of advice and self-help books courses, seminars and retreats is one of the few boom areas in the publishing business at the moment – each time an editor is made redundant, they either become an agent, or set themselves up as book doctors.  Dave Bartram finds all this onanistic self-regard deeply disturbing (are […]

The Devil & Google Are Raging Inside Me

The e-book is barely with us, yet already it’s threatening to undermine the whole publishing edifice.  The news that Britain’s WH Smith and Amazon are apparently getting into a price war (Dan Brown at £2.78 from Smiths; Stieg Larsson at £2.68 from Amazon) is bad news for everyone – but particularly writers.  “Cheaper is not […]

Does This Book Make My Butt Look Fat?

“Fiction is dead”, proclaims Lee Siegel in the New York Observer.  Fiction is now a profession – not a vocation – and that simple fact means that fiction is now culturally irrelevant.  In what Siegel calls the Golden Age of fiction – the period immediately after WWII – books such as From Here To Eternity, […]

Reading, Not Drowning

The nature of reading is changing, and there is much uncertainty about the implications for writers and the publishing industry.  Book sales are in general long-term decline, yet some areas (young adult fiction, for example) are growing.  Perhaps onscreen reading is on the rise at the expense of printed books?  Or possibly, as one of […]

The First Modern Poem

What would you consider to be the first modern poem?  There can never be a definitive answer, but in today’s extended Litopia Daily, we’re going to hear John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, both discuss and read from one of the most remarkable poems ever written… Download the show as mp3 […]

Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street – Mahfouz

It’s our last discussion for a while with John Simopoulos and again, we’re focusing on our series entitled Books That Matter. Galsworthy and Proust? Not worthy to hold a candle to today’s featured author, Mahfouz – says John.  Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, and is regarded […]