Sunday, March 28, 2010


Karl Stead is a respected New Zealand academic who, in 2005, had a stroke and lost the ability to write and read. His short story, Last Season's Man,  published today, is the unanimous winner in the Sunday Times Short Story Competition, the competition with the biggest prize money ever offered for a short story. It's about the rivalry between two writers and the evils of envy that success and failure brings. I loved it. Not that I've, cough, ever suffered from that sort of thing.

Gah, I tried to link to the story but it's not working.

The Times will soon be charging for their internet content. Wonder if that's got anything to do with it?  No, it's working now: Last Season's Man by Karl Stead.

Though talking of free links, The Guardian's editor is banking on global branding to keep  Guardian Online free. The Independent meanwhile has just been sold for £1. To the same man who bought our local London paper The Evening Standard. That's handed out free now but unless you travel by tube it's really hard to get hold of, even in the central bit of London where I live.

Meantime, the iPad launches in the US next week and another much-loved independent, The Kilburn Bookshop has closed. Though I do see the e-revolution as an opportunity for authors, it is without doubt sad. But, as this article points out, publishing, with all its kowtowing to Tesco, did need a good shaking out & I'm sure proper books and bookshops will survive and thrive. Look at Lutyens & Rubenstein, a gorgeous independent bookshop that opened just recently in Notting Hill.  Whilst I was in there a girl from Holland Park Daunt's turned up and introduced herself to the staff, saying she'd heard great things about it and just wanted to look around. They've obviously put a great deal of thought into the space and are diversifying with style. There's a little coffee and tea bar plus they sell jars of marmalade and unique perfumes made by a cab driver turned 'nose' with  names like Mr Hulot's Holiday (seaweed, sea breeze & leathery, inside of suitcase), Russian Caravan Tea (bergamot, tins of tea and dusty bookshelves) and Library (books)... plus it's a literary agency!

Lutyens and Rubinstein Bookshop - Small Projects from The Architects' Journal on Vimeo.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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