Victoria J L Best
Outskirts of Cambridge, England
Lecturer in French literature at Cambridge University
I've really loved my job, but lately I'm beginning to get itchy feet and am regularly beset by daydreams of a different kind of life as a non-fiction writer. I've always worked with books; as marketing manager at a book printers and as a fiction buyer for Waterstone’s, before returning to academia. I can't imagine a life that doesn't revolve around them. I think we live in a society that's very confused at the moment about the value and the use of reading; education encourages young children to read and discourages older ones from it. At the same time we underfund the arts and disparage any hint of elitism, whilst book groups and literary blogs are springing up far and wide, attesting to the pleasure people still gain from literary pursuits. I'm starting to write a book that looks at the (ostensible) decline in literature's popularity and considers what literature can still do for us. Well, that's the hope, anyway.