07 Dec 2014, Posted by Nick in Book Reviews, Features, Interviews, Journalism, Spirituality, The writing life, 1 Comments Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Michel Faber interview


The novelist Michel Faber talks about his new book, his Evangelical background, atheism, and the loss of his wife.

ARRIVING to interview Michel Faber, I feel awestruck and slightly puzzled.

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06 Nov 2014, Posted by Nick in Features, General, Parenting, Psychology, Spirituality, Urban Worrier, 0 Comments Tagged , , , , , , ,

My Adoption Journey

In National Adoption Week, NICK THORPE reflects on the most challenging and fulfilling experience of his life... MONTHS before we met our son for the first time, I knew in my gut that I wanted to be his dad. The description from the social worker chimed for both of us: “A lively, sociable three-year-old with a sunny personality and a streak of mischief, C loves to talk about his feelings and listen to story books…” My wife and I put in our application, made a DVD to introduce ourselves, Read more [...] Continue Reading...

03 Mar 2014, Posted by Nick in Features, Journalism, Psychology, Technology, 0 Comments Tagged , , , , , , ,

The New Materialism

FROM AEON MAGAZINE On my desk stands a miniature of an Easter Island moai, carved for me by a Rapa Nui craftsman. It’s precious to me, hewn from the same stone his ancestors used for the world-famous monoliths, textured with the tiny air-bubbles of millennia-old lava, and carrying memories of the friends I made on my voyage there. On another level, however, it’s also an uneasy symbol of humanity’s precarious relationship with the material world – because the original 13ft ancestor Read more [...] Continue Reading...

30 Oct 2013, Posted by Nick in Features, General, Journalism, Spirituality, 0 Comments

Sorcerers’ Tales

RENATO Cardenas lives alone in a bleached wooden house, shielded by pine trees and the kind of mysterious smile you might expect from a wizard. Not that he will admit to being a wizard. "I've heard that people call me El Brujo Cardenas," is all he will concede, tantalisingly, as he ushers us inside, amusement twitching at the corners of his pointed grey beard. He has good reason to be reticent. According to the luxuriant folklore of Chiloe, this mist-shrouded archipelago a few miles and Read more [...] Continue Reading...

27 Sep 2013, Posted by Nick in Adrift in Caledonia, Book Reviews, Books, Features, General, Journalism, 0 Comments Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Exploring Dangerous Truths

Great to see John Rae finally getting the recognition he deserves on his 200th birthday.  Never heard of him?  Me neither, until I came across the story of Britain’s most undervalued Arctic explorer a few years ago in Orkney. Born in Stromness, Dr Rae's accomplishments tower above those of many of his more famous Victorian contemporaries. Starting his career as a surgeon with the Hudson Bay Company, he was the first to identify the last link in the elusive Northwest Passage between Atlantic Read more [...] Continue Reading...

29 May 2013, Posted by Nick in Books, Features, General, Interviews, Journalism, 0 Comments Tagged , , , , ,

A Quiet Hero

You've probably never heard of Sir John Crofton, but if you value your lungs, you should certainly toast him. It was Crofton, half a century ago, who discovered the first 100 per cent cure for the age-old scourge of tuberculosis. Crofton, too, who pioneered the global method currently being used to fight terrifying new drug-resistant strains on Europe’s doorstep. With his campaigning doctor wife, Eileen, he also laid 30 years of groundwork for Britain’s first smoking ban in Scotland. And Read more [...] Continue Reading...

27 Mar 2013, Posted by Nick in Features, General, Psychology, Spirituality, Urban Worrier, 0 Comments Tagged , ,

Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie

I am in recovery from a long-standing addiction. While others may secretly gorge on chocolate or swig from a bottle hidden in the top drawer, I head furtively for the Mind Body Spirit section and binge on books promising to change my life in seven easy steps. I could once get an almost physical high breaking open the cover of another seductive promise – Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, or How to Talk to Anyone – another scheme to eliminate the bits of myself I didn’t like, and win the Read more [...] Continue Reading...

08 Mar 2013, Posted by Nick in Features, General, Journalism, News, 0 Comments Tagged , , ,

Confused in Venezuela

WATCHING the vast and emotional crowds at the funeral of Hugo Chavez today reminded me of the last time I was in Venezuela - when the masses took to the streets for a very different reason. It was April 2002 and I was heading for the Orinoco delta to write an eco-tourism feature for the Sunday Times, when the news broke that Chavez had been deposed in a coup after mass protests in Caracas. It was a surreal and confusing experience following the turmoil on television from my cabin in the rainforest. Read more [...] Continue Reading...

23 Jan 2013, Posted by Nick in Adrift in Caledonia, Books, Eight Men and a Duck, Features, The writing life, Urban Worrier, 0 Comments

Backstage at TEDx Bucharest

Watch Nick's talk on YouTube  Romania's Palace of the Parliament is designed to intimidate. Twelve stories tall, with 1,100 rooms decked in a million cubic meters of Transylvanian marble, it was originally built by the Ceaușescu regime at a cost of 3 billion euros. I first took a tour of its vast, echoing halls about ten years ago when I was in Bucharest on a story for the Guardian, and could only imagine how this opulent white elephant (the chandeliers and lights alone required 3500 Read more [...] Continue Reading...

16 Mar 2012, Posted by Nick in Book Reviews, Features, General, Interviews, Journalism, Spirituality, 0 Comments Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jeanette Winterson interview

One of my favourite books of 2011 was Jeanette Winterson’s memoir Why be Happy When you Could be Normal? So I was delighted to get the opportunity to interview her recently for Third Way Magazine. Anyone familiar with her award-winning Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, in either its novel or BBC TV serial format, will remember the bold landmarks of the writer’s thinly-disguised autobiography: the terrifying adoptive mother, the gospel mission tent, the collision of lesbianism with fundamentalism. What’s Read more [...] Continue Reading...