On the Loss of Childhood Heroes

‘It’s a human need to be told stories.’
Alan Rickman

There are some weeks that we wish we could erase from our collective consciousness. Press delete. Return to sender, unopened and unread.

This has been one of those weeks.

This week we lost two towering ambassadors of the arts, two beacons of British culture: David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Both men were 69 and both were killed by that omnipresent grim reaper, cancer.

A tidal wave of grief flooded the internet. It was immediately clear that their deaths were felt keenly around the world, but nowhere more so than in Britain. To us, it felt deeply personal.

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Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things

When it comes to literature, I am a compulsive consumer.

Whenever I finish a novel/play/poetry collection, I allow myself a moment to savour the final sentence, with a strange sigh of relief and inspiration and sorrow and optimism. Then I think, ‘Right. What’s next?’

This morning, just as I reached my tube stop, I finished reading Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. After the familiar sigh had shivered through me, something unusual happened. Instead of mentally scanning my shelves for my next literary adventure, I wanted to flick back to the beginning and start again, devouring the words with a new understanding. I wanted to grab the person behind me on the escalator and implore them to read it. I wanted to buy 50 copies of it and send one to everyone I know.

My finances not permitting that final impulse, I settled for a more sensible option. Blog post.

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