Popular Writing

BBC Academy Journalism Blog, 5 April 2016: In March 2016 I was invited to give a talk to auditionees for this year’s AHRC and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker scheme, the scheme that launched my career in broadcasting back in 2013. At the same time, I received an invitation to write a blog for the BBC Academy website on my experience of working in both academia and broadcasting. The result of the talk I gave to the NGT hopefuls is this blog on the challenges and rewards of a delicate balancing act.

Edinburgh Review: In issue 140 of the Edinburgh Review I had the pleasure of being invited to review Sara Maitland’s bewitching collection of science-inspired feminist short stories, Moss Witch and Other Stories.

Take One: Take One is the official film magazine covering the Cambridge Film Festival, dedicated to bringing the best of arthouse and independent cinema into focus. I contributed a number of reviews as part of the coverage of the 2014 Cambridge Film Festival, from praise for the compelling documentaries How I Came to Hate Maths and The Case Against 8 to careful commentary on the thoughtful Ningen and nostalgic ET precursor The Glitterball.

Favourite novel-to-screen adaptations?Spear’s Online. The journalists over at Spears must be sharing their little black contacts book as I make another contribution, this time to a feature on our favourite novel to screen adaptations. My pick this time? Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, a film which still takes my breath away every time I watch it, spellbound with equal amounts of awe and horror.

A Clockwork Orange 600

The Most Underrated Books of All Time‘, Spear’s Online. I contribute to a feature on the books that deserve to be called classic but somehow slipped through the net. My pick? Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. 

I am Legend

Sci-Fi-London Blog: Check out my blog for Sci-Fi-London – the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film – for my thoughts and musings on science fiction and film, past, present, and future!

BSLS New Generation Thinkers‘, British Society for Literature and Science annual newsletter, November 2013. I share my thoughts about being a BBC New Generation Thinker with the BSLS membership in the 2013 annual newsletter. My conclusion: you need to have as many heads as Worzel Gummidge!

‘Why study literature?’’, The University of St Andrews’ 600th Anniversary Campaign Magazine, Issue 2, Martinmas 2013, pp. 4-5. As part of the University of St Andrews’ 600th Anniversary Fund Raising Campaign, I was asked to write a piece on the benefits of studying English Literature at University. It’s a serious topic right now, as the Arts and Humanities on both sides of the Atlantic are struggling to defend themselves against cuts and ‘prove’ the value of themselves as disciplines.


1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, ed. Peter Boxall (London: Cassell Illustrated, 2006).  Find entries by me on an eclectic bunch of texts from the Eighteenth Century to the Present: Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Voltaire’s Candide, Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Elizabeth Bowen’s A World of Love, Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body, Alain de Botton’s On Love, Louis de Bernières’ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Patricia Duncker’s Hallucinating Foucault, and Michel Faber’s Under the Skin.