Piers Bearne

Piers Bearne

“Winning [PEN Factor at the TLC conference] was lovely, of course – but it was the chance to read aloud that felt like the prize. And seeing the excellent Sally O-J, who’d performed numerous editorial lancings and cauterizations on Calumny Spinks, shedding a little tear.”

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“I should have been in London, not this Essex midden swirling with pigeon-chest men and their gossiping dry-venus wives. I was no fighter, could not read nor write; but by Christ I had the smooth tongue to fool any man. And so I dreamed of becoming a merchant-gentleman by the power of my own wit, but London was forbidden me. Now it was but a fading memory, of dazzling lights, the broad river bristling with sails, of laughter and scented wealth.” Extract from ‘The Bitter Trade of Columny Spinks’ – included in the showcase

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