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Comment from the book world in March 2021

March 2021

'It was hilariously unlikely that a book of punctuation would be the number one bestseller in America'

22 March 2021

‘I feel sorry for people who have massive success when they're young. I was 48 when Eats, Shoots & Leaves became a bestseller and that helped me deal with it. All the time it was happening I was thinking: "In 10 years' time I'll look back on this with fond memories," because at the time I was quite anxious. I was also quite amused by it, because it was hilariously unlikely that a book of punctuation would be the number one bestseller in America...

I grew up in a small council house and still think of myself as working class. I always wanted to write, but thought I hadn't been born with the right certificate. It was in my 30s, once my father died and I was feeling a sense of futility, that I felt a great surge of determination to stop this ridiculous feeling. I did some therapy and it helped me to stop thinking I was unworthy.'

Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and 30 other books, including four crime novels.


'Good people can do bad things'

8 March 2021

‘I think these shows have an innate sense of decency and optimism that underpins them all. It's compassion and a belief that people are essentially good. If I had to define the essential DNA of Unforgotten, it's that good people can do bad things...

I'm still trying to understand human nature and its complexity, increasingly so in a binary world. Unforgotten is political with a small ‘p', and I would like to explore that more. As I've got older I've become more politically aware. I'd like to articulate some of the wrong turns I think our country has taken...

There are moments in Unforgotten where two characters have a row about something quite profound, and it's just me rowing with myself. I spend my life arguing with myself, trying to work out how I feel. I think it's Priestley who says you have to put it on paper in order to formulate your views. Nothing comes fully formed. It's only in a detective story that the answers are always clear and unambiguous. Maybe that's why I like writing them so much.'

Chris Lang, writer and creator of over 85 hours of prime time drama, including Unforgotten, Tom, Amnesia and A Mother's Son in the Sunday Times.

Why the bookselling sector is holding strong

1 March 2021

'Booksellers have had many years of making themselves resilient, having had to live through the advent and growth of Amazon - they are entrepreneurial and hard-working, resourceful and creative. Despite having spent years building up USPs which the pandemic stripped away (gathering, meeting, conversation, events, in-person meetings and social spaces) they have managed, by hard work, to keep themselves visible to their customers and to the wider media, public, government and trade audiences.'

Meryl Halls, MD of the UK Booksellers Association, in Bookbrunch, behind the paywall