Lucy Scholes lives in London. She is a contributing editor at Bookanista, and writes for The Independent, The Times Literary Supplement, The Observer, BBC Culture and The National. She also teaches at Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

On Second Read

Samantha Ellis re-read the classics to figure out who inspired the choices she made. In How to Be a Heroine, the playwright finds the neglected literary ladies who showed her the way.


It has been decades since her work was banned and she started a tempest in Ireland, but Edna O’Brien is still defiant, and her recent collection shows she’s one of the best.

One Life to Live

Even her ardent fans wondered how the prodigally gifted English novelist could top the magical Life After Life. With the release of A God in Ruins, now they know.


Historian Ruth Goodman wants us to learn about history from the men and women who lived it, not just the kings and queens we fetishize.

Fractured Fairy Tale

Teen girls in the U.K. are crazy about the vlogger Zoella, so as soon as she published her debut novel, she demolished existing sales records. Then things got sticky.

Personally Universal

Joan Didion’s trailblazing nonfiction set a forbiddingly high standard, but a slew of idiosyncratic writers are proving that her example may be inimitable but it is also inspiring.

Upending Expectation

The details of a ’20s domestic murder case help fuel the English novelist’s inspired exploration of the intersection of history, social mores, and love.