My non-speaking part in the wars

A job on a film led a gap-year kid to ‘extras boot camp’: a meeting in that make-believe world changed his life forever

Socialist shirkers

Between the wars, two privately-educated brothers became the models for today’s well-to-do young leftists by launching an anti-imperialist periodical. We conclude last week’s study of reforming children’s literature 

Book review: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss

The subject of motherhood has preoccupied much of Moss’s career as a novelist. In Night Waking an academic is torn between her work and her family; while the late 19th-century-set Bodies of Light, and it’s sequel, Signs for Lost Children, examine the debilitating long-term effects of a toxic mother-daughter relationship. By comparison, Moss’s new novel, The Tidal Zone, is marked by a change of perspective: that of a stay-at-home father.

From Jane Austen to George RR Martin: the novella is back

Small but perfectly formed: the novella is back. The slim little sister of your regular novel, a novella is usually defined as coming in under 50,000 words. But any long short story or short novel may slip into the category. 

Cruise, Child, Reacher (and me)

Lee Child – British, author of the Jack Reacher series and a multi-millionaire – has a cameo role in the new Reacher film starring Tom Cruise. When the big beasts met on set, Child’s amanuensis was there to watch