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NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!

  It’s the stuff of dreams: squirreled away in a small space—in Stephen King’s case when he wrote Carrie, it was the laundry room— a man or woman sits in front of a computer screen after work, or at lunch break, or late at night when everyone’s asleep and the house is quiet, writing the book they just know they have inside them. A GREAT book. And then, one, three, five, ten years later, it’s written and sent off to publishers, and a devilish voice inside the writer’s head says “I hope you’re ready for the rejection slips”—JK Rowling received loads … Continue reading NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!

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COCKFOSTERS

Cockfosters is the most recent collection of short stories by English writer Helen Simpson, who has made this form her specialty. Unless you’ve been to London, its title probably seems silly and slightly suggestive to you, which is the way the word struck me the first time I heard it on the London Tube, upon leaving Heathrow airport two summers ago. Seeing the book’s British cover in a Guardian review earlier this spring instantly brought to mind the mellifluous female tones that became the narrative voice of my trip to London in the summer of 2015. “This is a Piccadilly … Continue reading COCKFOSTERS