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The Unthology Interviews: Elaine Chiew talks to Amanda Oosthuizen

EC: I love your title. The Harp and The Thorn Tree. Which came first — harp or thorn tree? AO: Thanks, I’m glad you like it. They arrived together. When I’d finished writing the story I picked two of the strongest picture images. Those two jumped out at me and I kept them because together they make something else. EC: Both of these things have great symbolism in the story. As you are creating character…

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Fragmenting Angles

David Rose and Tim Sykes Talk about their stories in The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings.   Tim: I loved your story Ariel, first of all for the wistful sincerity and vividness of the narrator’s recollections. Can you tell me something of the story’s background? David: Ariel has had a long history, having been written in earlier form at the start of my writing life. It is a story I have always been fond…

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Mortality, Love and Loss: On Writing ‘Coup de Grace’

Ailsa Cox talks about how she wrote her story for The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings.   When, in summer 2015,  the writers were asked to select a paintings, I knew the one I wanted straight away.  It was the picture that looked like an eye in fur.  I’m a very slow writer, and there wasn’t much time to complete the commission.  But my journal was full of entries about my dog George, who’d…

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Eclecticism: How Unthology Works

Ashley Stokes talks to Thresholds, the International Short Story Forum about Unthology, its ethos and how we make our selections.   Unthank Books have just launched Unthology 5, the first of our short fiction series to be published twice yearly and in a smaller, pocket-sized format. This time last year, when I met with my co-editor Robin Jones in Cambridge to assess the submissions for Unthology 4, we realised that we had received so many…

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Being Dickens by David Madden

David Madden, co-author of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, talks about what it’s like to play Dickens. Being Dickens: Well, of course I am not. Dickens was a justly famous author, and probably the first whose fiction brought international celebrity status. In June 1870, news of his death spread like wildfire: Longfellow wrote ”this whole country was stricken with grief” – he was referring to America. Dickens gave the world marvellous novels and innumerable famous…

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A Tattoo on the Other Arm by Lander Hawes

  “I’m sorry but your companion must go,” the hotel manager said. Angela was in black and white on the CCTV screen. She was still in the bar, shifting and swivelling on her stool, perhaps wondering why I taking so long. “She is a local prostitute, a street girl. Has she tried to rob you?” “No.” “Then, she is waiting for an opportunity. Please, wait here when I call the security.” In a moment he…

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The Unthology Interviews: Cover Artist Nicolas Ruston

Installation shot from the exhibition Propensity Modelling. The Thinker (1880) by Auguste Rodin, has been covered in a white drape by Ruston. The paintings either side are a diptych, Sequential Pattern Mining Function (2011), Silicone on canvas, Each canvas 91.5 x 126.5cm Photographed by Adrian Burke Best known for his silicone and mixed media works that explore notions of artificial manipulation, artist Nicolas Ruston talks to Unthank Books about his cover painting for the recently…

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