Edmund Gordon

Edmund Gordon is the author of The Invention of Angela Carter. He teaches creative writing at King's College London.

By the time​ H.G. Wells died, in August 1946, the genre he’d done more than anyone to establish was headquartered on the other side of the Atlantic. John Wyndham and Arthur C. Clarke, the most important British science fiction writers to emerge after the war, published in the pages of American magazines. Attempts to revive the domestic scene failed to gather momentum until 1954, when

How to Hate Oil: On Upton Sinclair

Edmund Gordon, 4 January 2024

Upton Sinclair​ was born in 1878 to a Baltimore family of rapidly diminishing respectability. His father was a whisky salesman who drank a good deal more than he ever managed to sell. When things got especially bad, Sinclair’s mother would seek refuge in the home of her own father, who was secretary-treasurer of the Western Maryland Railroad, or that of her sister, who was married to...

The stories​ in Colin Barrett’s first book, Young Skins (2013), assembled a shabby cast of bouncers and pool sharks, small-time gangsters and big-time losers from a dismal Irish town. The narrator of ‘Diamonds’ is typical:

I was not well. I was drinking, too much and too often, and had resolved to stop. In the city I had drank away my job, money, a raft of friendships, one...

Insects don’t get a great deal of airtime in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The book that exposed the harmful effects of DDT on fish, birds, livestock and people had surprisingly little to say about the creatures the pesticide was intended to harm, except that they were starting to develop resistance – in other words, the case for spraying poison indiscriminately wasn’t...

The steps along the way are at once depressingly small and forbiddingly vast. Learning to swallow again. Learning to match the word ‘cat’ with a picture of a cat again; learning to say the word ‘cat’ again. Learning to write his name again. When my father was at the start of this process, my wife and I took our two-year-old son to visit him in hospital. I watched as Dad struggled to say ‘hello’, encouraged by the child whose own recent breakthroughs in speech had been a source of uncomplicated pride.

A New Kind of Being: Angela Carter

Jenny Turner, 3 November 2016

Rick Moody remembered his first encounter with Carter at a creative writing seminar: ‘Some young guy in the back … raised his hand and, with a sort of withering scepticism, asked, “Well, what’s...

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