Beryl Bainbridge

Writers Who Haunt Their Readers

The steps between thoughts must be cut shallow to travel. Several years ago I ran a free writing course, some of it I posted here. Although I have taught before I have no formal qualifications to teach, so I should probably shut up. Still, I thought I might periodically add writing thoughts and notes on […]

Uncultured 1: What’s On My Cult Radar

  HHhH by Laurent Binet ‘HHhH’ is enlightening and occasionally infuriating, but retelling an oft-told story is never easy. Binet’s Prix Goncourt winner concerns the legend of the London-trained parachutists who attempted the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, 1942, the events leading to the confrontation, the ambush itself, which played out like an action […]

The Voice Behind The Prose

I finally understand what I like about her most. She was cruelly funny. Cynical. Erudite. Surreal. Succinct. A blunt-spoken woman with a chaotic love life, two suicide attempts, twenty novels and a love of Liverpool pubs, and she wrote less like an angel than a demon. There were plenty of attempts to nail down Beryl Bainbridge’s writing […]

A Cover Is Not A Book…(Part 1)

…so open it up and take a look,’ sings Lin Manuel-Miranda, but in the hands of a good designer a cover can be a powerfully persuasive tool. In a modern bookshop with limited space covers must communicate a lot to browsers, and I have often been compelled to buy a book by its cover. Natasha […]

The Bedazzling Ms Bainbridge

It’s been a long time since a book has left me in such a mess as this. I cannot shake it from my head, and feel really saddened. Although I’ve long been a fan of Beryl Bainbridge, the Liverpudlian writer whose messy, boozy life was a world apart from her brilliant, wrenching books, I had […]

Farewell, Beryl

Cruelly funny, cynical, erudite, dry & succinct, Beryl Bainbridge has succumbed to cancer at the age of 75. I’ll always remember reading (and laughing in shock at) ‘The Bottle Factory Outing’ in Greenwich Park one sunny day. After that, I read everything she wrote. Although she followed a long line of Northern comic writers, she […]