Elizabeth Fremantle shares an extract from her novel The Girl in the Glass Tower. The novel came out on June 2nd and is available here. Elizabeth talks about writing on the Birkbeck Blog.

 

Tap, tap, tap.

‘Nan,’ I say. ‘When will they stop hammering down there?’

‘They stopped a month ago. Listen, it is silent.’ I can see the concern on her face. She can hardly bear to look at me.

‘But I hear it.’

I am very weak; it takes a supreme effort to lift my fingers from the bed to my cheek. Pain echoes through my perpetually.

‘Do you?’ She says it like someone talking to an infant.

I stroke the side of my face; a down has sprouted there. Perhaps I am finally becoming the boy my family once wished I had been.

She pulls back the covers and, averting her gaze, deftly removes my soiled shift, moving my body easily, as if I am a puppet. I am reminded of Margaret, deep in the past, who was able to take off her shift without undoing her gown. It used to make us laugh. It is a long time since I laughed.

Nan replaces the shift with a clean one. It smells of grass. I suppose it is summer and everything has been laid out on the lawn to dry. The scent takes me back to Hardwick and that miniature queen with the wooden stump beneath her skirts, the first great disappointment of my childhood.

‘In heaven’s name, I wish I could persuade you to eat something.’ Nan’s eyes are dewy and bloodshot. I feel her hand cradling my own.

‘Shhh,’ I say. ‘Don’t cry, Nan. It is what I want – what God wants.’

A harpy is perched near the window. Black feathers, red lips, sharp teeth, black eye. I watch it through the cracked pane. My vision is blurred but I can see it clearly in my mind’s eye. It moves towards the place where the window is ajar and drops something from its mouth on to the sill, then opened its vast wings, momentarily blocking out the day, before soaring up and away.

I squeeze Nan’s hand. ‘My body is not my self.’ She looks baffled, as if I am speaking in Greek.

June 13, 2016

The Girl in the Glass Tower

Elizabeth Fremantle shares an extract from her novel The Girl in the Glass Tower. The novel came out on June 2nd and is available here. Elizabeth talks about writing on the Birkbeck Blog.
June 6, 2016

Walleye Junction

Karin Salvalaggio shares an extract from her novel Walleye Junction. The novel, which came out on May 10th,  continues her Macy Greeley Mysteries series. Karin talks about writing on the Birkbeck Blog.
May 30, 2016

The Otherlife

The Otherlife by Julia Gray comes out on July 7th with Anderson Press. Julia shares the first chapter of the novel with us and discusses her writing process on the Birkbeck Blog.
May 23, 2016

They Are Trying To Break Your Heart

David Savill’s novel They Are Trying To Break Your Heart came out last month with Bloomsbury Publishing and is available here. David shares an extract with us and talks about the novel and his writing process on the Birkbeck blog.
May 16, 2016

The Art of Not Breathing

Sarah Alexander’s debut novel, The Art of Not Breathing was released on April 1st and is available to purchase here. She shares her first chapter with us as part of our published alumni series. Sarah talks about the novel and her writing experiences in  interview which you can read on the Birkbeck Website.
April 26, 2016

We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire

An extract from Chapter One of We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire by Jules Grant, out on 28th April with Myriad Editions.
April 18, 2016

When We Say Goodnight

Short Fiction by Aliyah Keshani
April 11, 2016

Murmurations

Short fiction by 2013 Bristol Short Story Award Winner, Paul McMichael. 
April 4, 2016

The Don

Short Fiction by Paul Goodman
March 29, 2016

The Night Shift

Short fiction by Jo Holloway
March 22, 2016

Broken Promises

  Short Fiction by Kate Nkanza.
March 14, 2016

Roundabout

Short fiction by Federica Lugaresi, shortlisted for the 2015 Fish Publishing Short Story Prize.
March 7, 2016

See Emily Play

Short fiction by Jamie West.
February 29, 2016

A Jailor

A new short story by James Wise.
February 1, 2016

Paddy and Agatha

A short story from Toby Litt’s new book, Life-Like, published by Seagull Books.
August 20, 2015

The Authenticity of Ash Creek

A short story by James Mitchell, first published in MIR11.
August 20, 2015

Olivia in 4 Parts

A short story by Jacquelyn Shreeves-Lee, first published in MIR11.
August 20, 2015

People Watching

A short story by Julia Gray, which was first published in MIR11.
August 20, 2015

Our First Lesbians

A short story by Rebecca Rouillard, first published in MIR11. Rebecca’s story ‘The Window’ is featured in MIR12.
August 20, 2015

Switzerland

A short story by Dave Wakely, first published in MIR11. Dave’s stories have appeared in MIR10, MIR11 and MIR12.