Header overlay

Articles & Extracts

An Unsettling Read

As the long flight plugged on through the night, Forster’s powerful descriptions of the scenery and climate of India beckoned me. I longed to feel the way the Asian heat ‘leapt forward’ hour by hour, to see the ‘angry orange’ sun that ‘had power without beauty,’ and to smell the toddy palms and neem trees and sweet ‘green-blossomed champak’. I wanted to feel beneath my feet what Forster describes as ‘something hostile in the soil’ and see the sky at night when ‘the stars hang like lamps from the immense vault’.
SF magazine subscribers only
Poste-Freudian Therapy

Poste-Freudian Therapy

It is generally thought that Stella Gibbons was mocking Mary Webb’s Precious Bane when she wrote Cold Comfort Farm, but she was probably having a pop at all those purveyors of country hardship, sex, doom and slop, Hardy and Lawrence included. One can easily tire of the lush, dripping, thrusting, tragic, moist, fecund countryside, and long for a brisk young woman from the tough pavements of town like Flora Poste to come along and tidy things up a bit . . .
SF magazine subscribers only

Up There on a Visit

It was the custom then, in the late ’70s, and still is for all I know, for editors to saunter forth from their ivory towers and visit bookshops with the reps, experience life at the sharp end of the book trade and so on. It was called being ‘on the road’ but tended to concentrate on large centres of population easily reached from London. Nothing could disguise the jittery bonhomie of the unfortunate rep chosen for this honour, or the loathing in the eyes of the bookseller forced to undergo ordeal by young puppy on top of the usual ordeal by rep.
SF magazine subscribers only
1st March 2004

Slightly Foxed Issue 1: From the Editors

Welcome to the first issue of Slightly Foxed, the magazine for adventurous readers – people who want to explore beyond the familiar territory of the national review pages and magazines, and who are interested in books that last rather than those that are simply fashionable. We plan to bring you, each quarter, a selection of books that have passed the test of time, that have excited, fascinated or influenced our contributors, and to which they return for pleasure, comfort or escape; the kind of books that sell steadily and quietly to those who know about them, but are no longer to be found on the review pages or sometimes even on the bookshop shelves.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Sign up for dispatches about new issues, books and podcast episodes, highlights from the archive, events, special offers and giveaways.