Mailing List


Helen Charman
Helen Charman is a writer and academic based in Glasgow. Her first book, Mother State – a political history of motherhood — is forthcoming from Allen Lane in 2024. She teaches in the English Studies department at Durham University.

Articles Available Online


Attachment Barbies: On Watching Grey’s Anatomy

Essay

March 2023

Helen Charman

Essay

March 2023

In August 2022, ABC announced that Ellen Pompeo, currently the highest-paid actress on American network television, was leaving Grey’s Anatomy, the show on which...

Book Review

May 2021

HOLDING THE ROOM: ON HOLLY PESTER’S ‘COMIC TIMING’

Helen Charman

Book Review

May 2021

The last poem in Holly Pester’s first collection COMIC TIMING (Granta, 2021) is called ‘Villette’; it shares its title...

MICHEL FABER’S RANGE OF SUBJECTS – from child abuse to drug abuse, from avant-garde music to leaking houses – is as wide as his gamut of characters: be they Scottish kids, Victorian prostitutes or creatures from other planets, they each speak in an unmistakable, fine-tuned voice His first collection of short stories, Some Rain Must Fall, published in 1998, was followed two years later by Under the Skin, a novel made into a film in 2013 The Crimson Petal and the White, over 800 pages long, became a bestseller soon after it was published in 2002 In the run-up to the book’s publication his publisher, Canongate, suggested he apply for British citizenship so it could be eligible for the Booker Prize An opponent of the imminent war in Iraq, he refused   Faber’s other books include The Fahrenheit Twins, a 2005 short story collection, as well as his latest – and, he claims, last – novel, The Book of Strange New Things In it, a Christian minister called Peter is sent to the planet Oasis to preach to its natives The project is run by USIC, a big corporation whose purposes remain unclear till the end Peter’s beloved wife Bea, not allowed to follow him, stays on the troubled Earth; their correspondence interweaves with a third-person narrative describing Peter’s mission and his earlier life Like all Faber’s books, this one is dedicated to his wife Eva Youren, who died shortly before it came out, in 2014   Faber was born in Holland in 1960, brought to Australia as a child and has lived in Scotland since 1993 We met in London, where he was on the occasion of his book tour last October; our conversation took place in a flat not far away from Chepstow Villas, one of the settings of The Crimson Petal and the White Faber had to call me earlier that day to confirm our meeting as he had no means of checking his emails while on the road When I arrived he showed me his basic mobile phone and said

Contributor

November 2017

Helen Charman

Contributor

November 2017

Helen Charman is a writer and academic based in Glasgow. Her first book, Mother State – a political history...

Essay

May 2020

Where do I put myself, if public life’s destroyed? On reading Denise Riley

Helen Charman

Essay

May 2020

How do you read someone who doesn’t always want to be read? This is a question I used to...

Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’

Book Review

October 2018

Helen Charman

Book Review

October 2018

Reading Sally Rooney’s second novel Normal People is a compulsive experience. After the navy blue Faber & Faber proofs were sent out in early...
Rendering intimacy impossible, deploy lifeboats (mark yourself safe) Not listening as such, more waiting to speak, above all mark yourself, it’s so important to be safe Carry on, they demand, we’re not reeling / we are reeling Is this the place for a fountain reference? Probably ‘What first attracted you to your wife, sir?’ ‘Her delicacy / her ankles / her hatred of the Tories’                  Alive twice over but that’s a whole life gone too                you know I’m sorry, he holds his hands up, I’m                sorry, he backs away: my conscience couldn’t                keep company with your body I say, your body?                it just made me think: it’s only a nine month stay   The next time you lay a hand on me, I’ll make a perfect gleaming dive into the Thames Aren’t you glad / to be here? I am
Electioneering

Prize Entry

November 2017

Helen Charman


READ NEXT

fiction

April 2013

The Final Journals of Dr Peter Lurneman

Luke Neima

fiction

April 2013

Editors’ note: After several months of debate we have decided to publish the succeeding text, a reproduction of the...

poetry

June 2012

At Night the Wife Makes Her Point: Two Poems

Gioconda Belli

TR. Charles Castaldi

poetry

June 2012

AT NIGHT, THE WIFE MAKES HER POINT   No. I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s legs. I haven’t spent my...

feature

September 2014

Missing Footage

Raphael Rubinstein

feature

September 2014

The discovery of absences (lacks, lacunae) and their definition must in turn lead the filmmaker as composer to the...

 

Get our newsletter

 

* indicates required