I Dreamed of Obama …


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I discovered Barack Obama in the pages of a Sunday supplement, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room. A year later, he was running for president. His rival for the Democratic nomination was Hillary Clinton, and at first it seemed unlikely that this little-known senator could outrun a former First Lady. But Obama’s message renewed long-buried hopes, and in the early days of social media he ran a people-powered campaign, based on word of mouth and thousands of small donations. Continue reading

‘I’m Never Gonna Dance Again…’




Another musical crush from my giddy youth was lost on Christmas Day with the news that George Michael had passed away. Wham! were among my first pop heroes, and like many other girls, my best friend and I dreamed of marrying them – although as my BFF bagged George, I settled for Andrew Ridgeley (which wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.) Continue reading

Merry Christmas to All My Readers!


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Thanks to my readers for your continued support and have a very happy holiday, whether you’re at home, at work or far away. (And if all you want for Christmas is to settle down with a good book, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed is now available on Kindle.)

2016: A Year in Fiction


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This extraordinary second novel from Eimear McBride charts the unlikely romance of a young Irish drama student and a world-weary actor, set in gritty, hedonistic North London during the 1990s. Together the lovers confront their demons, and the narrative is both emotionally brutal and often highly erotic. Continue reading

2016: A Year In Non-Fiction


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British journalist Gary Younge has a sharp eye for how political events impact on ordinary lives. While living in Chicago, he investigated the stories behind the blunt statistics of ten children and teenagers shot dead in a single day. Never intrusive, but quietly devastating, Another Day in the Death of America illuminates with rare power. Continue reading

2016: A Year On Film


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My favourite films this year were homegrown, showcasing what British cinema does best – not plummy period pieces, half-baked gangster flicks or corny rom-coms, but cutting-edge dramas with true grit. Continue reading

2016: A Year In Music


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2016 has been a year marked by loss: David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, to name but three giants who have left the stage. Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, spoke directly to our troubled times. Continue reading

So Long, Leonard Cohen…


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I first heard his music while watching Robert Altman’s anti-Western, McCabe and Mrs Miller, in Camden during the late eighties. That cinema is now long-gone, but the film – made not long before I was born – left a lasting impression. Continue reading

Marilyn Monroe: A Day in the Life


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VeVea Day in Life

April VeVea is a 26 year-old ‘Marilynista.’ “My knowledge of her started in 1993, when I was three, and saw a life size cut-out in an antique store,” she recalls. “Marilyn had her dress blowing over her head in the iconic Seven Year Itch dress. As her smile radiated through me all I could think about were two things: her beauty and that she would look better with longer hair.” Continue reading