Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Dan Stevens takes the helm at literary magazine
Following his Man Booker judging stint, former Downton Abbey star Dan
Stevens edits an issue of The Junket.
The actor Dan
By Alex Peake-Tomkinson
The Telegraph 01 Feb 2013
The latest issue of the online literary magazine, The
Junket, is the first to be edited by the actor Dan Stevens, its
Editor-at-Large. Stevens is still most famous for playing Matthew Crawley in the
ITV drama Downton Abbey. His character was controversially killed off in an episode
broadcast on Christmas Day last year. This may, conceivably, have given him more
time to pursue literary endeavours.
Stevens was a judge for the Man Booker Prize in 2012 after criticising the
previous year’s panel for the emphasis they placed on "readability". When he
understandably found it difficult to finish his Booker reading list while
filming, the costume department on Downton Abbey sewed a pocket in his
jacket for his Kindle.
Stevens' own contribution to the latest issue of The Junket is a
rather sober examination of our relationship with technology, entitled Looking After #numbertwo. In this,
someone who is unnamed but surely must be Julian Fellowes, says of Twitter, “I
don't want everyone to know when I'm sitting on the toilet.” Aside from this
jokey opening, it is one of the straighter essays in this issue.
In his Editor’s Note, Stevens says, “Try one piece; then try two; then offer
to a friend. The Junket is delicious enjoyed alone; better shared.”
The Junket was established in October 2011. Its website features an
admirable lack of bells and whistles and looks all the more confident for it. It
was set up by a group of friends with no financial backing. One of the site's
other four editors Thomas Marks told The Daily Telegraph, “There didn't
seem to be a forum where we could publish medium-length essays on some of the
subjects we'd always wanted to write about, and we soon realised that once we'd
created one, there were many writers – professional and otherwise, some who
didn't consider themselves writers but had something they wanted to write about
– who would be keen to contribute.” Full Piece at The Telegraph