Books, UEA Live / 23/05/2022 Men, Masculinity and Memories: Raven Smith at UEA Live

UEA Live concluded in an epic way with the hilarious Raven Smith. As soon as he sat down at the front of the lecture theatre, he was cracking jokes and making the audience feel like we were part of the conversation. In talk with Dr Sarah Godfrey, Smith dived into his latest book, Raven Smith’s...

Books, UEA Live / 09/05/2022 Shon Faye on her ‘Trojan Horse’ book at UEA Live

Walking in to a thunderous round of applause, Shon Faye takes her seat at the front of the lecture theatre. Lawyer turned writer and campaigner, with podcast Call Me Mother, Faye’s works have reached mass audiences. Her first book, The Transgender Issue, is a liberating piece analysing the trans experience in the UK. As a...

Books / 03/05/2022 Tear-stained Pages: Books That Make Me Cry

Anyone who knows me in real life will know that crying is a big part of my day-to-day life, though much of it doesn’t come from real life situations. Instead, my imagination pulls out worst case scenarios and makes problems out of thin air. I think this is why I tend to cry more at...

Books / 03/05/2022 Beyond the Binary: Transgender and Non-Binary Representation in Literature

Avid readers who engage in online communities such as BookTok know that these spaces are saturated with ‘queer’ recommendations which only exist to fulfil a social quota: Call Me by Your Name (vastly problematic) and Red, White and Royal Blue (yet another mlm romance) are only two examples. It’s beyond time to focus on a...

Books / 03/05/2022 Ashley Hickson-Lovence: “I’m always thinking about my next big project, a bit like Uriah.” 

Ashley Hickson-Lovence arrives for coffee; he orders a latte, and I order a cappuccino. As the coffee machine grinds, he removes his tinted sunglasses, “I can’t see anything in these,” he jokes, opting for his reading glasses. “That’s better.” Ashley says no question is off-limits. “I’ll answer absolutely anything. I’m an open book.” We begin...

Books / 03/05/2022 Shakespeare’s Impact: Fantastical Adaptations Across the Years

Shakespeare is known throughout the ages and across every continent. His plays are performed across countless theatres and are studied in countless schools. They’ve made a huge literary impact, so much so that adaptations are constantly being made.  Teen film classics like 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) and She’s...

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Books

The Art of Fanfiction

I’ve been a fanfiction devotee since I was a teenager. After a friend introduced me to this magical, world-expanding universe, I’ve been obsessed. I’d consume as much as possible on the bus to and from college every day (easy to read loads if your bus ride is an hour) and when I got a bit…

Books

The Bell Jar

I’m sure you’ve heard of The Bell Jar, or Sylvia Plath. If you haven’t then I highly recommend you get Googling. The Bell Jar was originally published under a pseudonym in 1963, the same year Plath unfortunately ended her life, but the novel and her legacy lives on. Without giving too much away, The Bell…

Books

The Most Iconic Female Characters

Literature is filled with examples of female characters, actions, and narratives being overshadowed by their novels’ male characters. Whether this is down to the embarrassingly two-dimensional way that women are often written by men, or due to male characters being written a more diverse, interesting narrative. This nearly always involves a heroically masculine end-of-the day…

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YA Love Stories

Traditionally, Young Adult fiction has been viewed as a more superficial genre. One where the same tired tropes are paraded around in different clothes, all trying to convince the reader they’ll be different from the array of books sat next to them. However, their greatest success comes in their representation of LGBTQ+ sexualities and gender…

Books

Celebrating Disability Representation

Representation in books has always been important. However, when creating diverse reading lists, people’s minds immediately go to POC representation or LGBTQ+ representation. For whatever reason, I don’t really see much in the way of disability representation. Unless, of course, I look in certain spheres. Before university, I was an ignorant reader, my bookshelves weren’t…

Books

The Importance Of #OwnVoices

Doctor Rudine Sims Bishop’s perceptive article Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors (1990) highlights how minority representation in fiction, particularly for children, is paramount in ensuring readers feel seen, their own lives recognised as an important part of our diverse human experience. In 2015, young adult author Corinne Duyvis created the Twitter hashtag #OwnVoices, to…

Books

Most Iconic Contemporary Women Writers

Whilst there are many iconic contemporary women writers who could easily win the top-spots on this list, there are three British authors dominating my bookshelves this International Women’s Day. Bringing women together, these authors offer comfort and reassurance to their female readers as they spotlight the feminine perspective, raise important issues about womanhood, and forefront…


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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on L.Hargreaves@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.