Skip to main content

MA - Done!

Yesterday, after work, I schlepped upto the University of Westminster and handed in my last piece of coursework for the MA in English Literature - the dissertation (on Pat Barker's first three novels if you're interested)! I wasn't happy with it - could have done better, blah blah blah - but it's done and dusted and now out of my hands. Thankfully. But, even at the weekend, when I was giving it the last once over, I was thinking...Phd? My mind is now parading a whole string of possible Phd topics at regular intervals to remind me how much I want to do it - my mind craves it. But there are, of course, the 'realistic' considerations. Like money. Like work. Like my 'career', also known as 'the job'. Like, like, like!! Not like! Then I think what if I do a Phd in Creative Writing, and not in English Literature? I'd be able to be open about writing that historical novel I have in mind that way. Then I could teach whilst writing, as, apparently, getting a job teaching English Lit at uni level is difficult at best. But then what isn't? And, even though I have my debut novel out on 3rd April, would it be feasible to study for a Phd in Creative Writing? I also hear from some that they are seen as examples of red-brick dumbing down! I seem to be using too many exclamation marks in this particular blog!! Oh well! We'll see....(!)

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Days Without End and Mosul's Avengers

So fed up am I of buying books that I don't finish, that I decided I would go to the local library for a copy of Sebastian Barry's latest novel, Days Without End, which has just been awarded the Costa Prize. Unfortunately, I could only borrow it on the proviso that it was return by 1 February. I returned it the day after, without having finished it. I was about three quarters through, and will now have to go out and buy it for the final quarter. I loved Barry's The Secret Scripture, and on every publication of a new work, his star rises. Days Without End follows two boys, one descended from native Americans, and the other having arrived on one of the notorious coffin ships from famine struck Sligo. The tale is brave, funny, touching, but most of all Barry has achieved the perfect pitch. It is quite remarkable.

Another remarkable work comes in the form of reportage in the New Yorker (February 6, 2017) The Avengers of Mosul, by Luke Mogelson 'A Reporter at Large'.