Who are my own favourite writers?
Philip Pullman has written many books of real originality, full of imaginative ideas. Not just the Lyra series, but the earlier Sally Lockhart novels. His current project, the second Lyra trilogy, is wonderful stuff. I’m totally hooked on anything he writes. I’m equally hooked on the BBC dramatisation of His Dark Materials. I think we are very lucky to have someone of Philip’s calibre living and writing in our country.
Hilary Mantel, of course, particularly the Thomas Cromwell (Wolf Hall) novels. Her unexpected death in late September 2022 has removed the undoubted star from the current British writing scene. Her mastery of the English language, as shown in the Wolf Hall trilogy, is breathtaking. I’ve read elsewhere that she might well be the most important novelist of the past fifty years. I wouldn’t disagree.
Doris Lessing has written some great works spanning many years, although my favourite is her autobiography. I’m also a great fan of David Mitchell. He shows great creativity in all of his novels.
Another author I admire greatly is Charity Norman. She writes about families in crisis situations and how their problems come to be resolved. I came to her books with “The New Woman”, a novel that probes the problems created by gender variance. Her other novels are equally good.
In crime fiction I like Val McDiarmid’s work and Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels. I also enjoy Colin Dexter’s Morse and Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels. Minette Walters has been another favourite of mine for a long time.
Among my fellow authors in the Joffe Books stable my favourites include Janice Frost, Judi Daykin and Joy Ellis. They’ve written some totally absorbing novels. Please consider reading them!