Nearly seven years ago, and I really can’t believe it was that long, I began my degree at NUI Galway in Ireland. I chose Galway for one reason only: I could study creative writing there. As someone who had been interested in words, books and literature ever since I could remember, it seemed a natural choice.
These are my pick of the five best books of the year.
In one sense, and in great measure, to be peculiar is to be original, and than the true originality there is no higher literary virtue.
I interviewed the super editor/writer/all-around book aficionado Claire Hennessy about her job at one of Ireland’s major publishing houses, what she looks for in YA submissions and her best advice for aspiring authors.
Would you not like to try all sorts of lives? One is so very small.
But that is the satisfaction of writing: one can impersonate so many people.
Writing is the best life there is, because you get to live within the realm of your own mind, and that is a profoundly rare human privilege.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
I still think of Great Expectations as the greatest novel ever written with Magwitch, Estelle, Miss Havisham and Pip Pirrip, Dickens’s most brilliant creations. I’ve read the Dickens canon three times in my life and it’s amazing how these books have become a mirror for me, showing me how I’ve changed.
His attitude to women, for example, his sentimentality, his humour… I react differently each time I come to them… And that, of course, is the power of the greatest literature. Every time you come back to it, it’s never quite the same.”
– Anthony Horowitz
Original speech for the National Literacy Trust: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/campaigns/anthony_horowitz_keynote_speech