Katy Guest is the literary editor of the Independent on Sunday
02 March 2014 12:00 AM
A L Kennedy’s books should come with a warning: “These stories may break your heart.”
01 March 2014 07:14 PM
A lovely story being passed around by smug marrieds on social media at the moment concerns a young American man, Nate Bagley, who spent a year interviewing happy couples to try to figure out what successful relationships are made of.
23 February 2014 12:00 AM
“Nobody ever warned me about mirrors”, begins the girl narrator of Boy, Snow, Bird – a novel that is primarily concerned with looks and surfaces, and the deceits that they can conceal.
23 February 2014 12:00 AM
What do Jerry Hall, George Osborne and I all have in common? Careful now …. On this occasion, it is not our enormous personal fortunes. Nor is it our love of literature – Jerry and I have both judged prizes but George's author wife, Frances, is the bookish one in the Osborne family. It is not even that we all have the kind of face that you just want to … photograph. What we all share at the moment is that everyone's going on about our hair. Poor us.
16 February 2014 12:00 AM
Did the Royal Mail divert all the sacks full of Valentine's cards that were sent to you on Friday and redirect them instead to flood-hit areas to be used as makeshift sandbags? Did you receive lots of emails with saucy subject lines which revealed themselves to be romantic pizza-for-two offers from Domino's? Did you battle your way back from work on public transport, buffeted about the head by try-hard couples and competitively large bouquets of imported roses? Or were you one of the lucky ones: did you come home to find your beloved entirely covered in wilting rose petals and brandishing a gift recommended in a "last minute Valentine's" feature? Was it soap? Bad luck.
09 February 2014 12:00 AM
I wonder if Mary Berry is a fan of the Jenny Joseph poem, "Warning", which begins: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/ With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me …." Ms Berry is of course a style icon and would never wear anything that didn't suit her. But what makes her so cool is that she doesn't seem to care what anyone else thinks of her: she dresses only to please herself. I wouldn't be surprised if, like Jenny Joseph, she spends all her pension "on brandy and summer gloves, and satin sandals, and say[s] we've no money for butter". Apart from the butter. Mary Berry would always have a bit of butter with her brandy.
02 February 2014 12:00 AM
We shouldn't scoff. In fact, the event sounds like a great idea
25 January 2014 03:38 PM
Something to Declare
12 January 2014 12:00 AM
Educationists were celebrating last week after the announcement by a leading law firm that it will alter its recruitment process to eliminate what it calls its own "pro-Oxbridge bias". Clifford Chance, one of the most prestigious firms in Britain, promises to make final interviews "CV blind", meaning that interviewers will not know which schools or universities applicants attended. It is a move presumably designed to placate left-leaning meritocratists just like me. But I'm furious about it.
05 January 2014 12:00 AM
As a bookish child with an oddly Americanised first name, I was more than once given the 1872 children's book What Katy Did. I was named as I was because my mum happened to have read the Susan Coolidge books, but never Katie Boyle, and to adults the novel must have seemed a perfect gift for a little girl called Katy. Unfortunately, to my young mind, what Katy did was this: had a mind of her own and, apparently somehow linked to this character flaw, unforgivably unruly hair; refused to take "because I said so" for an answer; fell off a swing; ended up paralysed (and deserved it); learnt the lesson that girls are to be seen and not heard; became meek and quiet, and accepted that her role in life was to give up her writing ambitions and mother her five siblings instead.
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