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Jolly good Fallow?

Paul and his younger brother Mikey are camping in the wild. They are on the run. Mikey, we soon learn, has recently been released from prison, having done time for the murder of a young girl when he was only a boy himself. Now Paul has taken him away, guarding him from the attentions of police, social workers, a psychologist and the press. Their mother would rather they had stayed at home, but Paul is determined that Mikey must be prevented from returning.

Books
Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan: Love A-E-I-O-U

At the risk of sounding like a doctor in a Carry On film, one thing I’ve learned as a writer over the last year is that you’ve got to keep your vowels regular. Forget minding your Ps and Qs, you’ve got to mind your Os and As. Oh yes, missus: you heard me right. If consonants are the breeze blocks of language, doing the heavy lifting and keeping the whole structure in place, the vowels are the picture windows.

Books
Morning, Paramin

So, what DOES art mean?

As some art critics have pointed out, paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations are all forms of visual communication, and if a work of art requires a lengthy text hanging alongside it in a gallery, explaining what it is supposed to make us think and feel, then we should perhaps treat it with a degree of scepticism, and wonder what, if anything, it has to tell us on its own terms.

Books
Friends and enemies

Friends and enemies

Leeds author June Taylor’s debut novel Losing Juliet is a dark psychological thriller about a friendship that goes wrong. Yvette Huddleston reports.

Books
Book Cover Handout of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, published by Hodder and Stoughton. See PA Feature BOOK Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Canongate Books. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature BOOK Reviews.

Review: Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult

Racial prejudice has never been more open and prevalent than in recent months, in the wake of Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as the new US President and the Black Lives Matter movement. So well done to author Jodi Picoult who, never one to shy away from controversial topics, tackles the issue of colour in her latest novel, Small Great Things.

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Stef Penney.

Love in the frozen north

In a way, I am the ideal and worst reader for this novel. I have a decidedly soft spot for “neo-Victorian novels” such as John Fowles’ French Lieutenant’s Woman, AS Byatt’s Possession or Elaine di Rollo’s The Peachgrowers’ Almanack, especially those that concern themselves with the hidden lives of women. I am also very interested in works set in the extreme north, whether fiction, or non-fiction,

Books
Jane Austen: The Secret Radical by Helena Kelly

The secret life of Jane Austen

English teachers at schools everywhere ought to plunge into this thoroughly impressive and convincing re-reading of Jane Austen’s works – but it will throw all their lesson plans into disarray. Austen expert Helena Kelly takes the author’s catalogue of works, much adapted, much loved, and turns them upside down, shaking out the petticoats and love stories to find a dark, politically motivated underbelly.

Books
Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan: How literary tourism has become big business

Some writers are inextricably linked to a particular location; I was in Eastwood, in Nottinghamshire, recently, and when you enter the village there’s a sign that welcomes you to “Eastwood, Birthplace of DH Lawrence”. Although, sadly, the heritage centre is shut, the museum in the house he was born in is still very much open.

Books
STRIKE A POSE:  Ronnie O'Sullivan during day nine of the Betfred Snooker World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.
PICTURE: : Richard Sellers/PA Photos

A colourful past

Five times world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has revisited his misspent youth for his debut novel, Framed. He spoke to Hannah Stephenson.

Books
The England team that faced Scotland in 1898, with Fred front row, far right.

Fred Spiksley - The Sheffield Wednesday star who shared a stage with Charlie Chaplin

Fred Spiksley played football for Sheffield Wednesday and England and performed on stage with Charlie Chaplin. Now a new book charts his remarkable life. Chris Bond reports.

Analysis
Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan: Holly and the envy

At this point in the eleventh month of the year, people who work in shops are sick and tired of the Christmas music they’ve been forced to play, and listen to, since about mid-October.

Opinion 2
The Longest Winter

My longest winter in Sarajevo

For Glasgow-born foreign correspondent-turned-author Kevin Sullivan, the Balkans War was a reality which he lived through, basing himself in Bosnian capital Sarajevo for the vast majority of the longest siege in modern history, which lasted from April 1992 to February 1996. Like last year’s Girl At War by Sara Novac, Sullivan’s novel, The Longest Winter, displays a great deal of knowledge and understanding of a conflict which destroyed the lives of countless Bosnians, Serbs and Croats in the early 1990s, when Europe was enjoying a period of relative peace and prosperity.

Books
Catherine Deveney

Body of evidence: Murderous tale with a transgenderist heart

A chrysalis is a pupa, that is, according to Chambers Dictionary, a creature in an intermediate state of development. Catherine Deveney has taken a fashionable subject – transgenderism – and written a novel that is both a mystery and a love story.

Books
ONLINE SUPPORT: Laurie Garrison is addressing the gender bias in publishing.    Picture by Martyn Smith

A level playing field

Leeds-based academic and writer Laurie Garrison is on a mission to give women writers equal publishing opportunities. Yvette Huddleston reports.

Books
NEW BOOK: Cover to Zadie Smith's latest novel

Review: Zadie Smith

Swing Time

Books
DOMESTIC GODDESS: Frida Kahlo's life is explored through her home.

Review: Frida Kahlo At Home by Suzanne Barbezat

Part biography, part reflection of Frida Kahlo’s work, this book examines the painter’s life through the prisms of her domestic life.

Books
The road less travelled

The road less travelled

Leeds poet Ian Duhig is on the shortlist of this year’s prestigious T S Eliot Prize for his new collection The Blind Road-Maker. Yvette Huddleston reports.

Books
Envelopes addressed by Charlotte Bronte to her life-long friend Ellen Nussey will go under the hammer.

Dear reader: Envelopes from Charlotte Bronte’s letters to her friend go under the hammer

Rare envelopes that would have contained letters detailing the relationship between author Charlotte Bronte and her life-long friend are expected to fetch about £1,000 when they go under the hammer.

Books
Edinburgh Castle is at the start of St Andew's Way, one of six pilgrim routes retraced for a new book by Emma Wells.

In the footsteps of Yorkshire’s first pilgrims

In the index to Emma J Wells’s latest book, in which she revisits various ancient routes first trod by medieval pilgrims, some of the country’s most famous religious buildings unsurprisingly get a mention. Canterbury Cathedral is there, along with Winchester and Walsingham. However, sandwiched between the various places of worship, saints’ names and abbeys, there is one less obvious inclusion. There in the index, part way down the third column, is George Clooney.

News
The cover of Crash Land

A Scottish isle, a crashed plane and a mysterious woman

Doug Johnstone is an avant-garde jeweller of the crimewriting world – he crafts eye-catching work from seemingly mundane parts, puts his characters under so much pressure it’s a wonder they don’t turn into diamonds by the closing chapter and much prefers to create quirky individual pieces (read: standalone novels) to churning out something charming-but-familiar (read: a police procedural series).

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