Great writers, artists, musicians and thinkers in British life say what Europe means to them: an outpouring of love and sadness. With pieces from Frank Cottrell Boyce, Melvyn Bragg, Margaret Drabble, Alan Hollinghurst, Will Hutton, Holly Johnson, Penelope Lively, Jonathan Meades, Deborah Moggach, Alan Moore, Jackie Morris, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Chris Riddle, Tony Robinson, Pete Townshend, Kate Williams, Michael Wood and many more...
As Britain pulls away from Europe great British writers come together to give voice to their innermost feelings. Contributing essays that contain some of their finest writings and perspectives very different to the ones given in news outlets. The creative community here has its say on Brexit. Novelists, artists, comedians, historians, biographers, nature writers, film writers, travel writers, people young and old and from an extraordinary range of backgrounds. Most are famous perhaps because they have won the Booker or other literary prizes, written bestsellers, changed the face of popular culture or sold millions of records. Others are not yet household names but write with depth of insight and feeling.
There is some extraordinary writing in this book. Some of these pieces are expressions of love of particular places in Europe. Some are true stories, some nostalgic, many hopeful. There are hilarious pieces. There are cries of pain and regret. Some pieces are quietly devastating. All are passionate. They show how Europe has helped us to expand our emotional, intellectual and artistic bandwidth, and hopefully will continue to do just that.
Mary Beard, Jeffrey Boakye, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Callow, B. Catling, Shami Chakrabarti, Chris Cleave, Frank Cottrell Boyce, William Dalrymple, Lindsey Davis, Margaret Drabble, Tracey Emin, Michel Faber, Sebastian Faulks, Neil Gaiman, Evelyn Glennie, Alan Hollinghurst, Will Hutton, Holly Johnson, Ruth Jones, A.L. Kennedy, Hermione Lee, Prue Leith, Roger Lewis, Penelope Lively, Richard Mabey, Jonathan Meades, Andrew Miller, Deborah Moggach, Alan Moore, Paul Morley, Jackie Morris, Charles Nicholl, Irenosen Okojie, Onjali Q. Rauf, Chris Riddell, Tony Robinson, J.K. Rowling, Rhik Samadder, Isy Suttie, Sandi Toksvig, Pete Townshend, Kate Williams and Michael Wood.
William Dalrymple is the bestselling author of the Wolfson Prizewinning White Mughals, The Last Mughal, which won the DuffCooper Prize, and the Hemingway and Kapuscinski Prize-winning Return of a King and his recent bestseller Anarchy. Dame Margaret Drabble is the author of nineteen novels, including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, and most recently, the highly acclaimed The Pure Gold Baby and The Dark Flood Rises. She was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She was awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime's Distinguished Service to Literature. Simon Callow is an actor, director and writer. He was born in London and made his London debut in 'The Plumber's Progress' in 1975. He has performed in numerous theatres, taking the lead roles at the RSC and the National Theatre, and his film appearances include 'Amadeus', 'A Room with a View', and 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. He made his directorial debut with the film of Carson McCuller's 'Ballad of the Sad Cafe', and has directed several new plays in fringe theatres, and two operas. He has published two autobiographical books: 'Being an Actor', and 'Shooting the Actor'. Tracey Emin was born in 1963 to an English mother and Turkish father, and grew up in Margate. She left school at 15, but later studied Fine Art at Maidstone and went on to the Royal College of Art. She is now an internationally renowned artist whose work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world. Although known as a visual artist, Tracey Emin's confessional writings have always formed the backbone to her work and in 2005 she published her memoir, Strangeland, drawing together new and revised work from the previous 25 years.
In 2007, she was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts, where she is now a Professor of Drawing and in 2013 she was appointed CBE. J.K. Rowling is best-known as the author of the seven Harry Potter novels, which were made into eight blockbuster films. She is also the author of Casual Vacancy, a standalone novel for adults and, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, writes the Cormoran Strike crime novels. Holly Johnson is an English artist, musician, and writer, best known as the lead vocalist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood Pete Townshend is the lead guitarist and principal songwriter of The Who - one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide - and the composer of the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize).
He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.