Category: United Kingdom

Home, yet not home

A new writer for a new year. Louise Ells was studying in the UK while I was living in London. Because I liked her written voice, I invited her to write for Canadian Writers Abroad. And she has. Below is […]

What then?

Remembrance Day. Is it enough to remember those who lost their lives fighting in the First World War? Sharon Johnston’s novel, Matrons and Madams (Dundurn 2015), asks us to consider what happened to the survivors. The question of what happens […]

How to Settle: Theresa Muñoz

Poet Theresa Muñoz was born in Vancouver, where she took a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She left at the age of 22 “to see the world” and do a Ph.D. in Scottish Literature from […]

Cusk’s Writing Class

This review of Outline by Rachel Cusk is written by Kim Reynolds in Ottawa, who has launched an indie publisher, Bookgiddy. Rachel Cusk lives in England, and has done so for a very long time, since her family relocated from […]

A Maid and her Cow

A recent trip to Durham has caused me to spend more brain cells than I ought mulling over cows and maids. I grew up near Queenston Heights, which was deep in the War of 1812 battleground. Well before a Laura […]

Yann Martel

I was very tempted to call this entry “The Martels” because in explaining why Yann Martel should be included in Canadian Writers Abroad, I must mention his parents, Émile and Nicole (née Perron). Yann Martel hardly needs the help of […]

Ashtead

Lit Trip: Duncan’s Grave

People flock to Westminster Abbey to visit the Poet’s Corner, where writers are either buried or have a memorial. What is the satisfaction of these literary pilgrimmages? I too indulge in this weird pleasure. When better to visit the burial […]

Griot at Solstice

Marva Jackson Lord has been living in the UK for just over 17 years, drawn like so many others by love. The love is a Welsh Englishman named Stephen Lord; they make their home now in the Brecon Beacons on […]

Powning in London

I met Beth Powning at a literary lunch at the Canadian High Commission, which was held on the top floor, with fantastic views of Trafalgar Square and environs. Before the renovation of Canada House, this room was used for storage. […]

photo: Debra Martens

British Rite

British Rite of Passage for Fathers One of the many good things about being married is that I read things I wouldn’t otherwise read. Such as the humorous book How to be a Husband by Tim Dowling. I am embarrassed […]

Flight Paths

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger, Doubleday Canada 2014, hardcover 286 pages. Reviewed by Debra Martens. Kate Pullinger is a Canadian author living in the UK and was interviewed for Canadian Writers Abroad in 2012. Visiting a neighbourhood like Richmond, you […]

Spirits

Every December from 1963 for eighteen years, on Gaudy Night, while Master of  Massey College, Robertson Davies told a ghost story. These he collected into a book called High Spirits (Penguin Books paperback 1982), explaining in the first chapter both […]

London Short Story

I was sitting at a table in the Waterstones Piccadilly lower cafe, sipping my water and watching people trickle in to the opening of the London Short Story Festival (18-21 June 2015) on Thursday evening, when Rupert Dastur asked if […]

Isle of Mull

A Kitchen Poem

Carla Lamont has kindly given permission to post one of the poems from her collection The Body Banquet. “I am Nigella Lawson” can be found on page three. I am Nigella Lawson (After reading How to be a Domestic Goddess) […]

Mulling Over Food, Writing

At the end of April we (DM, husband, daughter) took a short holiday on the Isle of Mull in the Hebrides. As this trip would involve a flight, a car rental, and a ferry ride, I felt we were going […]

English Winter

Wednesday noon the weather in London today is 5 degrees celcius and 83% humidity with a chance of rain at 10%, cloudy skies. According to the Met office, the weather in February 1905 was about the same, in a winter […]

Colonial Moderns

Review of Modernist Voyages: Colonial Women Writers in London, 1890-1945 by Anna Snaith, Cambridge University Press 2014, 278 pp hardcover (ISBN: 9780521515450). Reviewed by Debra Martens. Modernism is loosely defined as the period between the Victorian and the Second World […]

Emily in England

Emily Carr was both artist and writer. Something I didn’t know: she took a writing course at Victoria College in the summer of 1934.* Bed-ridden by illness, she wrote towards publication from 1937 onwards. Short stories based on her visits […]

Emily in Dulwich

Coming out of the Emily Carr exhibition, “From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia,” at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, I heard the family behind me speculating whether they could make a trip to British Columbia this […]