With her latest novel Last Friends, Jane Gardam reaches the end of her Old Filth trilogy, which tells the story of a generation of international lawyers who plied their trade across the British empire, but retired after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to end their days in rural Dorset. She explains why she announced the death of all her central characters in the first sentence of the novel, how it’s boring to write novels in continuous prose alone, and how she went about mining comedy from English reticence.Singer Cerys Matthews, of Catatonia, explains why she wants to teach the world to sing, through her song-book Hook, Line and Singer; and Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and her husband Malcolm sing us a word song as as part of a festival series of authors’ favourite words. You can find more in our live blog. Reading list:Last Friends by Jane Gardam (Little Brown)Hook, Line and Singer by Cerys Matthews (Particular Books)Claire ArmitsteadTim Maby …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books