Susan Hill


A Gothic horror story of quicksands, riptides and rituals

This is a muddle of novel (originally published last year by Tartarus Press in a limited edition), though there are…


Susan Hill’s French notebook: My struggle to avoid local cuisine

An overnight stop on the Ile de Ré taken between the St Malo ferry and the Quercy, where we always…

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anne Tyler Photo: Getty

Anne Tyler’s everyday passions

There was nothing remarkable about the Whitshanks. None of them was famous. None of them could claim exceptional intelligence, and…

Candida Lycett Green

How the NHS fails new mothers on breast-feeding

Why isn’t there a proper service to show new nursing mothers how to feed their babies?

Lydia Davis (Photo: David Levenson)

Don't let creative writing students read this book

One of these is by Lydia Davis, acclaimed American writer. One is not. They are whole pieces, by the way,…


Susan Hill short story: The Boy on the Hillside

Listen to Susan Hill read The Boy on the Hillside: [audioboo url=””][/audioboo] The boy, Seth, stirred in his sleep. ‘Cold…’…

The Good Nurse, by Charles Graeber - review

Charles Cullen, an American nurse, murdered several hundred patients by the administration in overdose of restricted drugs. Hospitals should be…

The Breath of Night, by Michael Arditti

There is always meat in Michael Arditti’s novels. He is a writer who presents moral problems via fiction but is…

Blood Pressure Test

NHS GPs should charge for appointments. Here’s why

A dose of stiff upper lip – and a small fee – would soon ease the queues at GPs’ surgeries

Margot Asquith

Susan Hill’s diary: The joy of fountain pens, the frustration of GP appointments

I bet you remember your first fountain pen. Mine was a Conway Stewart with marbled barrel, I had it for…


Finding an outfit for a wedding is a doddle compared with finding one for an investiture and I wonder how…

The phantom lover

Driving past several long abandoned second- world-war airfields in East Anglia last year I was struck by how spooky they…


Winter Notebook

You don’t go to North Norfolk in winter for good weather, but we had it — vast blue skies, sunshine…

Blue Night by Joan Didion

This is a raw, untidy, ragged book. Well, grief is all of those things. On the other hand, Didion wrote…

The great detective

As a child, Mark Girouard must have been easy to buy for at Christmas.  An ideal gift would have been…


The villain as hero

Juvenilia is an unfortunate word, with its connotations of the derogatory ‘juvenile’.

M. R. James’s dark world

M. R. James died at peace with himself and the world. We can be reasonably confident in claiming that after…

Under the skin

Why do so many aspiring writers think it best to begin with the short story and graduate to the novel? It’s madness.

Futile phantoms

Haunted Britain; A Ghost Tour of London; Ghosts of the British Isles;Victorian Ghosts; Railway Ghosts; Hotel Ghosts; Ghosts of the Civil War; Ghosts of Derbyshire/Cornwall/Yorkshire/Devon/Scotland/the Cotswolds.Drop into any local bookshop around the country and you are pretty sure to find a shiny-covered, heavily illustrated paperback about ghosts of the region. The list above was taken from a lightning visit to the pages of Amazon.


Susan Hill opens her diary


Unhelpful issues

It would not have been so easy to describe what Joanna Trollope’s early novels were ‘about’ in a few words, but recently she has been writing what the Americans call ‘issue books’, and they can be more readily encapsulated.


Susan Hill opens her diary

Avoiding the Wide World

Susan Hill reappraises The Wind in the Willows

Chic lit

First, I must declare an interest.