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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

One label doesn't fit all

Writers never feel comfortable having labels attached to them, however accurate they are. – Jonathan Coe

An English novelist and writer, Coe – born this day in 1959 – has spent his writing career focusing on novels about politics.  But while he has had an underlying preoccupation with political issues, this serious engagement is often expressed comically in the form of satire, and he’s one of the best.

And his nonfiction book Humphrey Bogart: Take It And Like It is one of the best written on the late actor and one of the first pieces by him that I discovered, since I’ve always enjoyed Bogart and the interesting life that he led.  

Jonathan Coe

Besides his literature, Coe has had a burgeoning career in music, playing keyboards in the band The Peer Group and writing a number of songs for both that band and others.   He’s collaborated with many other writers on a wide range of songs and continues to toy with the idea of “just focusing on music, which is why I can’t decide what I really want to be” although writing continues to lead the way.

“I have trouble keeping things out of books, which is why I don't write short stories.  They just seem to turn into novels.” 

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