In Love and War

April 14, 2014By toneyIn Love and War No Comments

A tale of love, heroism and resistance set against the stunning backdrop of 1930s Florence, In Love and War weaves fact and fiction to create a sweeping portrait of a city under siege. The novel is told through the eyes, letters and journals of Esmond Lowndes, who comes to Italy a lonely young man in … Read More

Stoner by John Williams

December 13, 2013By AlexBlog 7 Comments

I’m occasionally accused of being too enthusiastic about books on Twitter. Firstly, I think it’s an peppy medium, feeding upon shared pleasures, the web that the love of a good book can knit between people. Secondly, I’ve been on a good run recently. 2013 was the year I discovered Shirley Hazzard, whose novels (particularly The … Read More

Where Novels Are, There Love Is

March 18, 2013By AlexBlog No Comments

This is the speech I gave at Tolstoy’s home, Yasnaya Polyana, for the 2012 International Tolstoy Festival. In her address to the Edinburgh International Writers’ Conference in August 2012, Adhaf Soueif challenged the idea that novels can, or ought to, be political.”Is a novelist a literary activist?” she asked. “Should the novel be political? I … Read More

St John’s College Sermon

March 12, 2013By AlexBlog 3 Comments

  On Remembrance Sunday, 2012, I preached my first ever sermon on a wintry Oxford evening at St. John’s College Chapel. Here it is. “The wolf shall lie down with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid… The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall … Read More

The God Confusion

February 7, 2012By AlexBlog 9 Comments

I wanted to say a few words about faith. When you write a book it’s hard to know exactly how it’ll be interpreted by readers. You can suggest things in interviews, guide people towards your intentions, but in the end you’re just an author, and we all know authors are dead. Viv Groskop highlighted what … Read More