Books / 13/04/2021 Review: ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart

When I began reading ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart, I was full of hope, looking forward to a story of mystery, intrigue and secrets. This hope quickly vanished, and I’ve been thinking about this book for a while, because of how disappointed I was. ‘We Were Liars’ tells the story of Cadence Sinclair, of...

Books / 13/04/2021 Review: ‘The Beat Goes On’ (The complete Rebus short stories) by Ian Rankin

For many people, a long novel is a treat. But I’ve often found it hard to get through larger books, so when I was recommended to read Ian Rankin for my dissertation, I was a little bemused. Did I really have time to be reading all these books? When I found out about ‘The Beat...

Books / 13/04/2021 The White-Washing of Dark Academia

Recently, the Dark Academia aesthetic has resurfaced and has become popularised in the reading lists of many. It seems the global pandemic has urged people into feeling a sense of nostalgia, driving them to romanticise and imagine a world free from COVID-19. However, Dark Academia seems to prioritise literary works that manifest non-realistic representations, often...

Books / 13/04/2021 You’re allowed to not like Rupi Kaur, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a poet

As I sit at home researching Rupi Kaur, one of the most successful poets of all time, I glance over to my bookshelf and see a copy of ‘Milk and Honey’, her first collection of poems. Full disclosure, I had completely forgotten that I owned the anthology, but as I pick it up to flick...

UEA Live / 26/03/2021 UEA Live: Writers celebrate 50 years of Creative Writing with Future and Form

As UEA continues to celebrate 50 years of its acclaimed Creative Writing programme, five of the six writers involved in the ambitious Future and Form project joined Henry Sutton (Director of Creative Writing at UEA) and Tim Wright, executive producer, to discuss creativity, process, and results amidst the pandemic. With the Future and Form project...

Books / 23/03/2021 Literature and the allure of suffering

A while ago, I was talking to my friend about whether suffering came with rewards. She had just been offered her dream job after months of struggle in a gruelling interview process. Blood, sweat and tears was the phrase she used, quite literally. Although it was painful, the struggle resulted in her getting what she...

Books

Books

UEA Live: celebrating Lorna Sage’s life

As UEA Live celebrates 50 years of its Creative Writing MA, Wednesday’s discussion was about another anniversary: Lorna Sage’s memoir Bad Blood is turning 20. Chaired by Kathryn Hughes, this discussion of Sage’s life and book seems better described as a collective appreciation. From the speakers’ fond words, it is clear that the life of…

Books

UEA Live: Raymond Antrobus and Joe Dunthorne on the persistence of poetry

On Wednesday, Lewis Buxton (poet and producer) was joined by Raymond Antrobus and Joe Dunthorne to discuss poetry, positivity through the pandemic, and the value of community. The three kept up a friendly rapport, and the talk felt much more like a catch-up between friends than a formal discussion. The session alternated between question-fuelled discussion…

Books, Venue

Reading about a leader’s life

I’ve read Steve Jobs: The biography by Walter Isaacson, about the late CEO of technology company Apple. I chose it because I have purchased Apple gadgets since I was 14 and I’m interested in technology generally.  I learned that the company was started in his garage, which inspired me because it shows that anyone can…

Books, Venue

Banned Books

There are plenty of books that children shouldn’t read. In fact, there are an abundance that adults probably shouldn’t read – but does that mean we should ban them? At its core, the practice of banning books is a form of censorship – whether from a political, legal, religious, moral, or even a commercial standpoint….

Books, Venue

The politics of dystopia: 1984

The world of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 is terrifying; it’s a world where people have fallen victim to an omnipresent government and constant surveillance, ensuring people are devoid of liberty and individuality. They have no choice but to conform to the will of Big Brother, a phrase that is now synonymous with totalitarian authority….

Books, Venue

The racist history of monsters in fantasy novels

Earlier this year Wizards of the Coast Publishing, the company in control of Dungeons and Dragons media, announced the plans to begin editing character races in their Player’s Handbook and adventure novels. Game design aside, from a literary aspect the company addressed long-held racial insensitivities in the lore and backgrounds of races such as Orcs…


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

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