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From the Slightly Foxed archives | Simon Barnes on My Family and Other Animals

Paradise Regained | From the Slightly Foxed archives: Simon Barnes on My Family and Other Animals

Greetings from Hoxton Square where an air of calm has settled after last week’s jam-packed literary diary. Tarka and Jennie went off to Waterstones Piccadilly to toast the Wainwright Prize shortlist, while Steph, Anna and co. popped into Hatchards to hear Bart van Es and Rachel Cooke discuss his brilliant Foxed Prize winning biography The Cut Out Girl in the first of our new series of Hatchards events in association with The Biographers’ Club. Meanwhile, back here in the office, Gail, Hazel, the podcast team and special guests from Ways With Words, Llangwm Literary Festival and the Scottish Poetry Library were recording upcoming episodes of the podcast, dedicated to literary festivals and writing about place.

We’ll be in touch again next week when the new episode of the podcast is released (No. 9, all about garden writing) and then we’ll be loping towards August and the end of calm and quiet with the arrival of Paul from Smith Settle with the first two Rosemary Sutcliff Roman novels, Plain Foxed Editions of Corduroy and 84, Charing Cross Road, Roald Dahl’s Boy and the Autumn issue of the quarterly itself. Phew! Just imagining lugging all of that lot up the stairs at No. 53 is making us feel hot and bothered. But let’s forget about all of that for a few more weeks yet and sit back with a long cool drink in hand to be spirited away from the hustle and bustle of Hoxton to the island paradise of Corfu with Gerald Durrell and family. This lovely piece by Simon Barnes was commissioned as the preface to our limited hardback edition of My Family and Other Animals which, following The Flame Trees of Thika’s glorious last hurrah in June, is the next title on our list due to sell out, with fewer than 60 copies remaining.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading Simon’s article. If you do, and are tempted to add My Family and Other Animals to your SF collection then do make haste for Hattie is already lingering with intent by the Gerry bookshelf, label-maker in hand, poised for a shuffle the minute the last few copies land on the packing desk.

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