The Soul Of An Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Shooting Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1916 – the first motion picture filmed underwater, no less – J Ernest Williamson trembled: “No words can adequately describe the sickening…


Is the ‘Arabic Booker’ working?

When the International Prize for Arabic Fiction was launched in Abu Dhabi in 2007, its chairman, Jonathan Taylor, said he looked forward to seeing “more high-quality Arabic fiction…


Raja Alem interview

The National, June 2016 When Raja Alem won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011 with The Dove’s Necklace, she might have expected that her fascinating exploration into…


Shilpi Somaya Gowda interview

The National, June 2016 It is not entirely an exaggeration to suggest that Shilpi Somaya Gowda is living the dream. Like so many would-be authors, the Toronto-born child…


Restoration by Alexander Larman

The Observer, May 2016 Alexander Larman says in his introduction to Restoration: The Year of the Great Fire that his first book, a biography of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, left him…


Mohammed Al Murr on Emirati literature

The National, April 2016 When Mohammed Al Murr started writing short stories, decades ago, the literary landscape of the UAE was dramatically different from what it is now….


Michael Dobbs on House Of Cards

The National, March 2016 It was surely one of the most timely sessions at this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. As Michael Dobbs, creator of the ­intrigue-laden…


Ian Rankin interview

The National, March 2016 Ian Rankin is in demand. The Scottish crime-writer, whose Detective Inspector Rebus series has now sold a staggering 30 million copies and been translated…


Amy Cuddy interview

The National, February 2016 We’ve all been there. That interview for a life-changing job that doesn’t go to plan. A business pitch to potential backers that falls at…