Wednesday, February 14, 2018


A very special edition of "When Mates Make Books"!

Because it's my best mate, my life-mate in fact - Joy Press - who has made a book. 

A book that's out in a couple of weeks on Atria/Simon & Schuster in America, and on Faber & Faber in the U.K. 

It's a bloody good book too. 

But don't take my admittedly biased word for it. 

Here's some advance reviews for Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television from the American trade press - where Joy has pulled off the book-writing equivalent of a Grand Slam with three starred reviews.

"Women have run successful TV shows for decades, but they still routinely face bias and unreasonable obstacles in the industry, as Press details in this powerful narrative that expertly weaves reporting, analysis, and anecdotes. ...Press’s chronicle of a pop-culture movement should inspire a new generation of women creators"  
Publishers Weekly, starred review. 

"Press draws from decades of interviews, research, and reporting to create a vibrant behind-the-scenes look at the some of the most prominent women creatives in the industry and the role they played in bringing women-focused narratives to the forefront of modern TV and culture... An urgent and entertaining history of the transformative powers of women in TV
- Kirkus, starred review. 

"The book is well-organized chronologically and is an absorbing read with some politics thrown in. There are fascinating interviews with female showrunners such as Roseanne Barr, Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Jenji Kohan (Weeds/Orange Is the New Black), and Shonda Rhimes (Scandal). ...Highly recommended for those who enjoy reading about the entertainment industry, how their favorite TV shows are created, and women" - Library Journal, starred review

Joy has also received ringing endorsements from leading members of the punditocracy:

"Please read this book immediately. It is sharp, funny, and gorgeously researched, a satisfying blend of inside dirt and critical illumination. It also places female creativity on television exactly where it belongs: dead center in the cultural conversation.
- Emily Nussbaum, television critic  at The New Yorker

"A roaring tour of women's professional, artistic and political impact on television and on popular culture. By turns invigorating and sobering, Stealing the Show maps the progress of the expanded voice, vision and reach of women on television and behind its scenes."
- Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of An Independent Nation

"Stealing the Show is essential reading for anyone interested in women gaining power, in how edgy storytelling comes to screens, and in brilliantly talented females taking the reins of a once-derided-as-secondary-to-movies medium.... I relished their stories--and was inspired by them, too." 
- Sheila Weller, author of The News Sorority and Girls Like Us

For further information about Stealing the Show, head over to Joy's website - where you can find details of book events in New York and Los Angeles and details about the book's scope and content.

To buy the US edition go here
To buy the UK edition go here.


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Haighest of Haighs

It was a pleasure and a privilege to speak with Robert Haigh for The Wire a few weeks ago, for a feature - out any minute now in the March issue of the magazine - that takes in the whole arc of his career: from a surprising early start, through postpunk and the esoteric UK underground of the Eighties, onto rave and the Moving Shadow golden years, then the 21st Century return to solo piano that culminated in last year's lovely and limpid Creatures Of the Deep

At The Wire website, here's a playlist chosen by Rob of some piano music that's influenced and affected him. 

Below is a pictorial journey across Rob's career (including a couple of rare photographs of the man himself) followed by a few of the less obvious gems from his discography.





it's been a year and a bit now