Gender astride the Channel

When you meet someone in the street in a French-speaking country, it is polite to address the person by saying “Bonjour Monsieur” or “Bonjour Madame”. This entails two things. Firstly, you need to identify whether it is a man or a woman.… Read more

What’s in a name?

The then Kate Tempest performing in Geneva.

As a novel writer, people’s names are important. A character called Imogen is hardly likely to react the same way as one called Lucie. Just say the two names out loud. The different sounds immediately conjure up contrasting traits.… Read more