Julie Myerson

The best way to cope with rejection is to write about it

With more than a dozen acclaimed novels to her name, not to mention short stories, poetry, a memoir and a Booker nomination, you might think that Michèle Roberts could have counted on being published for life. But as so many ‘established’ authors know painfully well, in that ever-hungry-for-the-new world there’s no such thing as tenure.

Trouble in paradise | 12 April 2018

1991, the Harbourfront Literary Festival in Toronto. The novelist Rose Tremain and the South African writer Carolyn Slaughter are enjoying a lobster thermidor and Chablis lunch. Hearing about Slaughter’s abuse at the hands of her father, Tremain finds herself telling her lunch companion about ‘something I never normally discussed with anyone: the lack of love

Babes in the wood

Mona — single, childless, pushing 60 — sells wooden dolls made by a carpenter friend, which she delicately costumes from odds and ends of fabric sourced in charity shops. But her business has an odd spin-off: mothers who’ve suffered past stillbirths can come and ‘order’ a lump of carved wood made to the specified birthweight

High priestess of horror

A film critic friend, astonished that I had never heard of Shirley Jackson, told me to go and read her immediately. That was ten years ago and she has since become one of a handful of talismanic writers I reach for when craving literary succour. An undisputed master of the gothic and the uncanny— We

The ultimate nightmare

On an April morning in 1999, two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher, wounded many others, then turned their guns on themselves. Among the many questions fired at Klebold’s stunned parents in the wake of this appalling event, two were