Just You and the Page: Encounters with Twelve Writers

Publication Date: 
Monday, May 24, 2021
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Pre-order now - Publishing 24 May

“When I write, I want to smash through something.”

“Writing is something without which you die.”

“New technologies have fundamentally changed what it means to be a writer.”

Just You and the Page opens in 1971, with the dramatist Michael Wall hammering out his plays on a portable typewriter. It concludes in 2020, when the novelist and academic Josie Barnard is teaching students to compose novels on Instagram. Between them are Booker prize winners; a poet whose life was changed by a profound religious conversion; a translator for whom Pushkin has meant everything; a distinguished environmental journalist; a famous diarist; a nature writer who restored a wood, and a political activist who fled her country and is writing now in exile. 

Sue Gee has interviewed twelve distinctively different writers, all old friends, looking at what has shaped them: at struggle, inspiration and dedication to their art.  Part memoir, part literary biography, published in extraordinary times, Just You and the Page is above all about resilience.


Dramatist: Michael Wall
Novelists: Anna Burns, Penelope Lively, Charles Palliser, Darragh Martin
Poet: Hilary Davies
Nature writer: Ruth Pavey
Writer in exile: Afra
Environmental journalist: Marek Mayer
Diarist: Roy Strong
Translator: Antony Wood
Multimodal writer: Josie Barnard 

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