Cultural Life: Joanna Trollope, novelist
Friday 25 February 2011
Books: As usual, I have several books on the go. The current crop includes Kishwar Desai's 'Witness The Night', which won the Costa first novel prize; George Eliot's 'Daniel Deronda', which I'm re-reading skipping most of the ponderous faith/Jewish culture bits; and Colin Thubron's 'A Mountain in Tibet' – he's such a writer, and my late pa got halfway to Lhasa from Delhi in 1944, when he hadn't enough wartime leave to come home in.
Television: Well, I'm sorry 'Zen' is done for now, even if I could never quite follow the storylines, and I am eternally amazed by 'Human Planet' – the camera at its most miraculous. But I'm strangely upset by 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' and have stopped watching it. Crude and unspeakably patronising, or what?
Films: I did see 'Black Swan', mostly through my fingers – the bad ballet and the melodrama slightly redeemed by the wonderful Barbara Hershey. I also saw 'Never Let Me Go', which managed to be nothing like as chilling as its theme (or Ishiguro's novel), but was still a vehicle for the seriously talented Carey Mulligan.
Theatre: I loved Rebecca Hall as Viola in her pa's production of 'Twelfth Night' at the Lyttleton – rather a relief just to see a straightforward, impeccable production of Shakespeare. And another treat – 'Becky Shaw' at the Almeida, as disconcerting as it is funny, and simply beautifully acted.
Music: I'm having a distinctly folk moment. I presented Album of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 British Folk Awards. The music was terrific, never mind actually being in the same room as Donovan and Joan Armatrading, Barbara Dickson and Roger Daltrey. Swoon.
'Daughters-in-Law' by Joanna Trollope (Doubleday, £18.99)
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Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
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- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
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BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling