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An exploration of art in fiction: ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, art snobbery, and redemption

Few authors can be as steeped in art – literally since birth – as Valeria Vescina, my first of today’s guest contributors. “My mother is an art historian and my father directed a gallery of twentieth-century art. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting down with books of old-master paintings,” she says. Passionate about…
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Help: my eBook business model is broken

When the line between lending and piracy becomes blurred

A few weeks ago, I was watching a topical panel show. When the question of plastic pollution came up, one of the panelists replied, ‘No, you’re not laying the blame at my door. I bought plastic on the understanding that it would be recycled. It’s not my fault if someone went and dumped it in…
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An exploration of art in fiction: finding your inspiration

The focus of this week’s exploration of art in fiction is finding your inspiration. We kick off with a contribution from Michael Jarvie. Michael is a working-class writer from the North East of England. He is the author of the composite novel The Prison and the thriller Black Art. With a BA Honours degree in…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 4: when all roads lead to Tate Modern

This week’s Art in Fiction focuses on novels that are set in the mecca of modern art, Tate Modern.  One of my favourite reads in recent months was Harriet P Paige’s Man With A Seagull on his Head, which was nominated for Not The Booker 2017.  Paige perfectly pitches a portrait of outsider artist Ray…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 3: Grief Art Writing

A guest post by Vivienne Tuffnell

To give this week’s guest post a rambling introduction would be to do it a disservice. It is more than capable of standing on its own two feet. Suffice to say that, when I read it, I felt as if I’d been given a gift.  Vivienne Tuffnell is a writer, poet, explorer and mystic. She says…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 2: Fictionalised lives of real artists

The week’s exploration of the use of art in fiction (part 2) focuses on novels that tell fictionalised accounts of the lives of real artists.  One of my favourite examples is contained in How to be Both, by Ali Smith. Francesco del Cossa was a 15th Century painter. Although few known examples of his works…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 1: Smash all the Windows

For the next few weeks, Virtual Book Club will be taking a break. Instead, I’m going to bring you an exploration of the use of art in fiction. Fictionalised stories behind real painting; novels based on the lives of real artists; fictional artists, fictional works of art; fictional members of real art movements; fictional muses…
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Writers Who Walk

Creativity, Well-being and Inspiration

I’m a walker who writes. In my childhood years, as one of five children, ‘I’m a walker’ wasn’t something you needed to explain. It was a given. We even had our own chant. ‘I left (start with left foot) my wife with forty-four children and don’t you think I was (skip) right, right, right. I…
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Smash all the Windows: One month after book launch

Contemporary Fiction with a Social Conscience

You write a book about something you’re passionate about and hope it will resonate with others, but you never really know how readers will react. But now the first reviews are trickling in…  ‘This book was simply stunning – a portrait of grief and loss with immense emotional depth.’ ~ Anne Williams, Being Anne ‘Jane…
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Jean Gill: A Day in the Life

Jean Gill is an award-winning Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with two big scruffy dogs, a Nikon D750 and a man. For many years, she taught English in Wales and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Carmarthenshire. She is mother or stepmother to five children so…
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