Jonathan Coe

UK Writers Like A Challenge. Well, They Have One Now.

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I’ve always thought of myself as European but I’m not, of course. Bryant & May are only a very slight exaggeration of my relatives (although I have some German blood – ‘Like the royal family’, my mum said). I came from a solid middle-class if slightly desperate family who would have loved to go to […]

Where Are The Stories For Our Times?

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What a decade! How do you encapsulate it? Murmurings and mutterings; the rejection of global economics, the rejection of free movement. As more parts of the world become unstable, the pressure on those areas which are relatively calm increases. They’re safe havens for cash and companies, property and tourism. With the reduction of popularity in […]

Should Writers Be Topical?

Cole Porter contributed many songs to the Great American Songbook,  including "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "I Get a Kick Out of You."

Anyone with half a brain will know that we live in extraordinary times, but most writing doesn’t reflect the present. Part of the reason is that for fiction writers the gestation period is so long. The distance from the idea to the final version of the book, then to finding the publisher, and then to […]

One Rule For The Rich

It didn’t take long for the UK’s balloon-faced premier, formerly centre-right David Cameron to reveal his darker colours. This one requires a back-flip mindset; under new government proposals, universities in England will be permitted to make extra places available for rich British students. So if you’ve got enough wonga, you can grab a place after […]