Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Kirsten Dunst

"I just don't want to be the damsel in distress. I'll scream on the balcony, but you've got to let me do a little action here."
Kirsten Dunst, 32 today

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Jerry Seinfeld

"Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason."
Jerry Seinfeld, born today 1954

Monday, 28 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Harper Lee

"Real courage is when you know you're licked from the beginning, but you begin anyway, and see it through no matter what."
Harper Lee, born today 1926

Sunday, 27 April 2014


Alice Munro, the recipient of more twitter love than any other short story writer

Last weekend I was researching a piece on the resurgence of the short story for a sunday supplement. Turning to one of my more frequently used research tools, I asked twitter for some recommendations; to name a short story writer, or two, they loved. Usually, when I do this, one of two things happens:

1. Everyone ignores you and carries on watching Britain's Got Talent.
2. You get a handful of suggestions, most of which you already knew, plus a couple of piss-takes.

Very occasionally, a third thing happens: you drown.

Last Sunday, I drowned. And several days later I was still drowning. There were so many suggestions  that I couldn't possibly use them in the feature, so I decided to post the whole lot (so far) here. I'm listing them in alphabetical order so no-one can accuse me of any sort of favouritism (other than for people whose surnames begin with A).

Please remember, this is twitter's list, not mine, so please reserve your abuse for twitter. Any additions gratefully received (as long as they're not your mum/dad/sister/aunt), but I'm not taking anyone off, just because you don't like them...

My favourite short story collection by one of my favourite writers

Uwem Akpan, Sherman Alexei, Nina Allam, Kate Atkins, Margaret Atwood
Isaac Babel, HE Bates, Kevin Barry, Donald Barthelme, Aimee Bender, Hassan Blasim, Amy Bloom, Roberto Bolano, Jorge Louis Borges, Ray Boudinot, Malcolm Bradbury, Ray Bradbury, Richard Brautigan, Maeve Brennan, Harold Brodkey, George Mackay Brown, Charles Bukowski
Italo Calvino, Peter Carey, Angela Carter, Raymond Chandler, John Cheever, Ted Chiang, Anton Chekhov, Colette, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Costello
Roald Dahl, Lydia Davis, Don Delillo, Anita Desai, Junot Diaz, Anthony Doerr, Andre Dubus, Stella Duffy
Harlan Ellison, Anne Enright, Stuart Evers
F Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Ford
Neil Gaiman, Janice Galloway, Anna Gavalda, Ellen Gilchrist, Nikolai Gogol, The Brothers Grimm
Mark Haddon, Sarah Hall, Joanne Harris, M John Harrison, Adam Haslett, Ernest Hemingway, Amy Hempel, Tania Hershman, Susan Hill, AM Homes
Shirley Jackson, MR James, Tove Jansson, Denis Johnson, James Joyce, Miranda July
Franz Kafka, AL Kennedy, Etger Keret, Stephen King, Hanif Kureishi
Jhumpa Lahiri, CS Lakshmi, Margo Lanagan, Mary Lavin, Doris Lessing, Deborah Levy, Kelly Link
Bernard Maclaverty, Alison Macleod, David Malouf, Kuzhali Manickavel, Thomas Mann, Katherine Mansfield, Adam Marek, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Claire Massey, Somerset Maugham, Guy de Maupassant, Daphne Du Maurier, William Maxwell, Elizabeth McCracken, Carson McCullers, Ian McEwan, John McGahern, Jon McGregor, Herman Melville, Stephen Millhauser, Lorrie Moore, Kate Mosse, Alice Munro
Jeff Noon, Alissa Nutting
O Edna O'BrienFlann O'Brien, Flannery O'Connor, Frank O'Connor, Yoko Ogawa, Helen Oyeyemi

Dorothy Parker: the queen of the smart one-liner

Grace Paley, Mollie Panter-Downes, Rajesh Parameswaran, Dorothy Parker, Edith Pearlman
Jayne Anne Phillips, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, VS Pritchett
R Ian Rankin, Dan Rhodes, Jean Rhys, Philip Roth, Karen Russell
Saki, JD Salinger, James Salter, Sarah Salway, Sofia Samatar, Polly Samson, George Saunders, Bruno Schulz, Will Self, Robert Shearman, Jim Shepard, Carol Shields, Lionel Shriver, Helen Simpson, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ali Smith
Amy Tan, Elizabeth Taylor, AC Tilyer, William Trevor, Ivan Turgenev
Simona Vinci
David Foster Wallace, Eudora Welty, Edith Wharton, Jeanette Winterson, PG Wodehouse, Tobias Wolff, Lucy Wood
Richard Yates

Who's missing? Go on, you know you want to tell me...

Friday, 25 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Mary Wollstonecraft

"I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves."
Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights Of Woman, born april 27, 1759

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Shirley Maclaine

"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, it's where all the fruit is."
Shirley Maclaine, 80 today

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... William Shakespeare

"Love me or hate me are both in my favour. If you love me I'll always be in your heart. If you hate me I'll always be in your mind."
William Shakespeare, born 450 years ago today

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... John Waters

"Being rich is not about how much money you have, or how many homes you own; it's the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it."
John Waters, born today 1946

Monday, 21 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Charlotte Bronte

"I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward."
Charlotte Bronte, born today 1816

Friday, 18 April 2014

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Victoria Beckham

"The person they make me out to be irritates the hell out of me as well."
Victoria Beckham, 40 today

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Alek Wek

"I have no problem with whatever the next big look is. Just don't try and tell me that only one look is beautiful."
Alek Wek, born today 1977

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Emma Watson

"Young girls are taught you have to be the delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior."
Emma Watson, born today 1990

Monday, 14 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Samuel Beckett

"Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
Samuel Beckett, born april 13 1906

Friday, 11 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Kurt Vonnegut

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
Kurt Vonnegut, died today 2007

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Nigel Slater

"It's impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you."
Nigel Slater, born today 1958

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Vivienne Westwood

"The sexiest people are thinkers. Nobody's interested in somebody who's just vain with a hole in their head, talking about the latest thing. There is no latest thing. It's all rubbish."
Vivienne Westwood, born today 1941

Monday, 7 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Billie Holliday

"If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all."
Billie Holliday, born today 1915

Friday, 4 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Robert Downey Jr

"Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the f*ck you were gonna do anyway." 

Robert Downey Jr (Hollywood's highest paid actor 2013), born today 1965

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Doris Day

"Any girl can look glamorous... just stand there and look stupid."
Doris Day, born today 1924

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Émile Zola

"The artist is nothing without the gift. The gift is nothing without the work."
Émile Zola, born today 1840

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Today I'm channelling... Steve Maraboli

"If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck. If you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly."
Steve Maraboli