Norman Collins

What I’m Reading In December

As the papers fill with ‘Best Of’ lists we’re being presented with all sorts of interesting books for the winter months, plus some not-very-well-hidden PR promotions. Bookshops charge for table space and listings magazine charge for entries, so to counteract these here’s a selection from my current reading pile, my only agenda being enjoyment and/or […]

Moving, Hilarious…And Forgotten

Norman Collins had the prime requirement for a writer; he was naturally interested in the daily lives of others. He was a populist and a bit of an ethnographer, but these days we remember him better for his other career, first running radio’s Light Programme (which had grown out of popular entertainment for the forces), […]

Stickability

What makes a book, a film, a scene, a song or a play stay in the mind? It’s a question writers wrestle with constantly. Often it’s a case of the ‘sevens’; when you’re seven years old everything is exciting and new, and any old rubbish sticks with you forever. I’m horrified at how often the […]

Expect The Unexpected

Surprise at the unexpected is one of the most delightful things I can think of. I remember watching children’s faces when they peered into a room at the British Museum and saw Anthony Gormley’s installation featuring hundreds of little clay people looking back at them. For a moment they felt like gods. The delight of […]