I'm very excited to read the latest book by Matt Cain, ex-editor of Channel 4 News and Attitude, who's written a coming of age and coming out story about a young boy growing up in Bolton whose Auntie Jan's gift of the "Lucky Star" single for his ninth birthday transforms his life. It's bound to be a joyous romp and I'm saving it for my holidays with great anticipation!
Look At Me by Anita Brookner
One of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors. It's very sad and poignant; the heroine's long walk home through London by night, heartbroken, is a scene I read for the first time with my eyes as wide as if I were watching a horror film, transfixed, wanting to look away but unable to. Warning: do NOT read this book if you are feeling in any way anxious or emotionally delicate, as it's a devastating story about social invisibility. Exquisitely written and, as you can see, really stays with the reader!
The Birthgrave Trilogy, by Tanith Lee
I've rarely met anyone who's read Tanith Lee's superb fantasy trilogy about a young woman's journey to find out who she is, from horrendous beginnings to the maturity not to define herself through the man she's with. But I strongly recommend it, especially to twenty-something women, the age she was when she wrote it and I when I first read it. It's a careening adventure story with a shocker of an ending, and highly original."
I could have kept going forever, but these are all excellent role models!
In my experience, absolutely not, but Love Island tells us different.
Last year I travelled from London to Venice on the Orient Express with my dear friend Laura Lippman so that we could write about it for the New York Times. It was originally going to be a short story, which we will publish eventually, but it became a very chic article with some lovely photographs, and here it is!