Issue 31 of The Reader magazine, entitled ‘Relative Time’ is available now from our shop, where you can also buy back issues and subscribe to get four issues. If you don’t yet know about the magazine, try it free: get a free download of Reader 30 from the download page.
Reader 31, Relative Time
New poetry by Anna Woodford, John Welch, Andrew McNeillie, Jennifer Compton and Michael O’Neill. Plus we have the second half of Les Murray’s personal selection of his favourite Australian poems of all time.
Jeffrey Wainwright writes about his poem, ‘Mere Bagatelle 1’ in the latest Poet on His Work, letting us see into the poem’s beginnings.
Howard Jacobson argues for the good of books that tell you what to do. It sounds a sober subject but in his hands it is exhilarating and encouraging, and entirely persuasive. Jane Austen and Samuel Johnson join with George Eliot and Kafka to give us a good talking to.
The Interview: Janet Suzman talks to Philip Davis about Peggy Ashcroft, her own great Cleopatra of 1974, and the particular need for an actor to find a core of reality in the character she plays – and the equally important ability to relinquish that closeness after the play has run its course.
Raymond Tallis, polymath and long-time friend of The Reader, gives us his funny account of the role of the asterisk in literature, ‘Reader, I Sh*gged Him’. It’s a history of sex and the written word.
Andrew McNeillie talks about his early reading life and difficulties coming to terms with learning, followed by his fascination with words, almost as if they were living things.
Frank Cottrell Boyce gives us his funny and moving new story, ‘Accelerate’, in which a woman wishes away time, which of course cannot be recalled.
Our serialisation of Mary Weston’s short novel The Junction begins in this issue. Not to be missed. Part two will be in the December issue.
We have all our usual features, reviews, recommendations, letters, Buck’s Quiz and crossword. In Readers Connect Rudyard Kipling’s Kim is investigated by our panel of readers, while in The Old Poem, Brian Nellist writes about Thomas Randolph’s ‘Upon His Picture’. In Book World Kirsty McHugh talks about the world of blogging, and Maureen Watry celebrates the donation of material from Brian Patten and Roger McGough to the University of Liverpool’s library archive.
The theme in this issue is relative time, and we have two fathers and sons writing: Ian and Andrew McMillan talk about their reading lives, while Frank Cottrell Boyce’s dad, Francis Boyce, is here too, defending Liverpool writers, Garrett and Hanley.
Posted by Chris Routledge