Here are a collection of media pieces. Some of the interviews, articles and features are available to read online, and links are provided where this is the case.

  • Reviews
  • Interviews
  • Articles
  • Features
Girl In A Blue Dress

‘The portrait of Dickens is spot-on – charismatic, theatrical, depressive, preoccupied with death and with childhood, endlessly courting celebrity and reputation.’

— Catherine Taylor, Guardian 16th August 2008

‘Fabulously indulgent Victoriana… a lovely rich evocation of the period with its complex characterisation and silky prose.’

— Francesca Segal, Observer 3rd August 2008

‘Girl in a Blue Dress is exceptionally well-controlled in its playing of past against present.’

— William Palmer, Independent

‘A fine work of imagination and compassion that offers up other ways for us to understand a popular genius and those who loved him.’

— Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph

‘In this clever act of biography and fiction, Arnold brings him (Dickens) exuberantly alive: the entertainer, the raconteur, the Wonder Dad – always brightly-dressed, captivating and magnetic… a ferociously controlling man with boundless energy and an insatiable appetite for affection. What Arnold handles so effectively is portraying the intermingling of love and resentment, affection and pettiness, that renders any marriage mysterious to outsiders.’

— Ron Charles, Washington Post

‘Gaynor Arnold’s deep understanding of human relationships marks out this story of a strong woman in an age when women weren’t perceived as such.’

— Erica Wagner, Times

‘Beautifully written, entirely satisfying.'

— Kate Saunders, Times Online

‘Arnold picks apart domestic psychology as efficiently as a housemaid cleaning a coal stove.’

— Susanne Cokal, New York Times Book Review

‘In its quiet way, it chips away at the image Dickens wanted to leave posterity. One puts down the novel with a sense of justice belatedly done. And very readably done.’

— John Sutherland, Financial Times 8th September 2008

‘Arnold balances contemporary clarity with a real sense that the reader is immersed both in the Victorian world and the novels of Dickens, and, as the widowed Dorothea gradually comes to terms with the fact that she could never live up to Alfred’s fantasies of family life, her story makes for reading that you can’t put down.’

— Tina Jackson, Metro

‘Arnold demonstrates fiction’s ability to imagine the truth behind the facts and so performs a service for the ghost of Catherine Dickens which no biographer, in the absence of further documentary evidence, could.’

John Spurling, Sunday Times 7th September 2008

‘Dorothea’s reminiscences in this novel are heartbreaking…Dickens himself may easily have shed a tear at this tale.’

— Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

‘Arnold’s achievement, in constructing a busy, engaging, above all empathetic fiction on the foundation of facts, is considerable.’

— Elsbeth Lindner, Miami Herald

‘Victorian England has been recreated delightfully in Girl in a Blue Dress, especially through the writing style. It’s like stepping into a classic novel.’

— Ellie Housden, Courier Mail, Australia

‘This juicy novel imagines the private life of a famous couple, Catherine and Charles Dickens. Smart readers will connect the dots.'

— People Magazine, USA

‘A wonderfully rich account of Catherine and Charles’s life.’

— Doree Shafreer, New York Post

‘Gibson is a Dickensian character – and no wonder, for Arnold’s inspiration for her curious but wholly absorbing novel lies in the complex married life of Charles Dickens and his wife, Catherine.’

— Amber Pearson, Daily Mail

‘A warm and endearing novel.’

— Jayne Hayworth, Birmingham Post 6th September 2008

‘Loveable characters.’

— Monique Polak, Montreal Gazette 30th September 2009

‘A neat pearl of a book.’

— Eve’s Alexandria 14th April 2009

‘Arnold writes swooping and often poetic prose.’

— Daniel Hoyt, Cleveland Plain Dealer 1st October 2009

‘Thank you, Gaynor Arnold, for one fine novel.’

— Bookbrowse 1st October 2009

Lying Together

‘Arnold’s language never shows off but time and time again, her observations are spot on… In The Street of the Rose Gatherers, the story succeeds because what is left unsaid. (Her) real talent is to conjure a character often derided in literature and life, the gentle, yearning female, and to make us yearn along with her over an extended narrative for love and life and all that she deserves. If the past is this author’s natural country, it is a territory she most skilfully populates with the lost and the lovelorn.’

— Louise Doughty, Guardian

‘She incorporates the characters’ sexual relations with a light touch, but to great effect… Male and female interaction is often defined by an inability to communicate, and it is in this area that the author’s understated prose comes into her own. It is thence that In the street of the Rose Gatherers and Room for Manoeuvre draw a quiet power.'

— Harriet Ackland – Erotic Review

‘These stories are full of humanity but entirely without sentimentality. In Looking For Leslie Howard’ the atmosphere of a provincial hotel in the late 1930s is caught perfectly… Arnold is impressively capable of presenting a man’s point of view in Salad Days where the state of the marriage is summed up by the ‘leathery green leaves, the beetroot bleeding into a hard-boiled egg’ of the regular Friday night salad. It is a beautifully written and perceptive collection, perhaps at its best in Room for Manoeuvre where a woman trying to make her own life in Paris finds herself demoted from lover to the other woman in a subtle and heartbreaking fashion.’

— William Palmer, Independent

‘Bang in the centre of the volume is Stand Well Back, a fantastic story with such depths and layers of intrigue, it almost makes your head spin.’

— Sarah Clare Conlan, Bookmunch

‘The best of Gaynor Arnold’s short stories are tough and tender, her characters caught between old habits and the possibilities of a new life.’

— Eithne Farry, Mail Online

‘Arnold’s people, beautifully rendered in transparent prose, could be your neighbour or your colleague, but by uncovering their motivation, Arnold transfigures their humanity into something unique and intricate.’

— Emily Cleaver, Mslexia

After Such Kindness

'Gaynor Arnold...has pursued the central mystery tangentially and allusively in a clever, skilfully woven, teasing and compelling story... In dealing with the central question, Arnold offers an alternative and surprising scenario that manages to be both entirely plausible and psychologically fascinating. This pivotal moment is supremely well-concocted.'

— Simon Winchester, Guardian

'A powerful, emotive novel by a skilled storyteller.'

- Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

'As finely wrought as her 2008 debut Girl in a Blue Dress, [After Such Kindness] is by turns amusing, engaging and disconcerting...'

- Daneet Stephens, Independent

'The story moves along well and each scene is beautifully drawn. As layers of the story are peeled back and Margaret begins to remember more about Jameson, the novel builds to a brilliant climax.'

- Kirsty Logan, We Love This Book

'A fine successor to Arnold's previous Booker and Orange long-listed debut, Girl in a Blue Dress.'

- Jan Lee, Oxford Times

Gaynor talks to Jenni Murray on Woman’s Hour, 27th August 2008 — Click here to listen

‘Five Questions for Gaynor Arnold.’ METROlife 10th September 2008 — Click here to read

‘Family Affairs.’ Gaynor talks to Chris Arnot for the Guardian Society Page 13th October 2008 — Click here to read

‘The Social Worker Celebrity.’ Gaynor talks to Joe Devo for Professional Social Work Magazine, October 2008

‘It’s never too late.' Gaynor talks to Roya Nikkhah, Sunday Telegraph, 22nd March 2009 — Click here to read

‘When I’m 64.' Gaynor talks to… Jerome Taylor at the Independent, 18th March 2009 — Click here to read

‘My Week.’ Gaynor talks to Gillian Orr at the Independent, 21st March 2009 — Click here to read

‘A tale of mixed emotions.’ Gaynor talks to Lorne Jackson at the Birmingham Post, 9th April 2009 — Click here to read

Gaynor talks to Tommy Cappalito at Il Giornale, 5th August 2009

‘I’m a writer…’ Gaynor talks to James Kidd at the Independent on Sunday, 30th January 2011 — Click here to read

‘Lying with the public.’ Gaynor talks to James Vincent at The Writers' Hub 7th March 2011

‘Book of a Lifetime.’ The Independent, 5th September 2008

‘Stressful, underpaid…’ Gaynor describes life as a social worker, The Times, 8th May 2009

‘10 Things You Don’t Know about Social Work.’ Mail on Sunday, 15th November 2009

Gaynor does a ‘bedside table’ interview with Horizon Online Review, 15th May 2010 — Click here to read

‘Judges draw up Booker Longlist.' The Guardian, 30th July 2008 — Click here to read

‘Social Worker makes Longlist.' The Times, 30th July 2008

‘In search of Winning Words.’ The Observer, 3rd August 2008 — Click here to read

‘Great Expectations for tale of Dickens’s life.’ Community Care, 7th August 2008

‘Orange Prize — Birmingham Social Worker takes on Nobel winner.’ The Telegraph, 18th March 2009 — Click here to read

‘New novelist up for fiction prize.’ BBC News Online, 18th March 2009 — Click here to read

‘American authors dominate fiction longlist.’ The Guardian, 18th March 2009 — Click here to read

‘Cardiff-born author among Orange Prize invitees.’ Wales Online, 18th March 2009 — Click here to read

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