Hazel McHaffie

Reflections

James McConnachie, the editor of our professional journal, The Author, summed up my feelings exactly in the latest Summer edition:
Many authors I know have been struggling of late with feelings of triviality or even irrelevance. First it was Covid. Then Putin, with his murderous war in Europe. How can authors justify what we do while our colleagues in the east – authors, journalists and artists, alongside a population of 40 million people – are fleeing their homes? When they are starving in basements? When they are being shot and shelled?

But through the articles chosen for this special point in history, he goes on to demonstrate that the work of poets and writers has the capacity to invent a language to express
anger, pain,grief, longing, gratitude and hope; making sense of the broken, mutilated world; affirming life,
and to underline the importance of culture in the lives of individuals and countries, in explaining who we are and where we belong – all beautifully illustrated with contributions from Ukraine’s own poets, illustrators and writers.

The whole ethos of our journal is to be a place where light is brought into deeper places, rather than generating dissension or inflaming tempers by reacting to contentious divisive issues. As the editor says himself:
‘I am determined that every issue of The Author should offer inspiration as well as instruction.’
This edition, more perhaps than most, highlights that lovely approach.

McConnachie also asks the question: How can authors approach topics that invite polarisation? and that is exactly the question I’m asking myself in preparing the ground for my own next novel … on abortion. I think … I hope … Maybe …

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