• Emily Prescott

Londoner’s Diary: I would be crushed if my wife hated my book, says David Shannon

David Shannon, who has just launched his debut novel HOWUL: a life’s journey, said it was vital that his wife “didn’t completely hate it”.

“That would’ve been utterly crushing,” he said. The pressure is understandable given his wife is Girl, Woman, Other author and Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo.

Shannon told us that when submitting to publishers he didn’t reveal his literary connection as he wanted it “to be accepted on its own terms”. Happily, during a Q&A event with his wife last night, Evaristo confirmed she did indeed like her husband’s novel.

Though afterwards Shannon admitted she wasn’t so keen on his idea for a follow up to her novel called Boy, Man, The Same.

But can we expect a co-written book in the future? “As even agreeing on what both to watch on television can be a challenge, I can’t quite see us combining on a novel. So, while open to suggestions, I can’t see any mash-up happening just yet.”



Victoria Atkins, minister for safeguarding, has announced her retirement — from skateboarding. The Tory managed to break her wrist when she “may or may not have been trying a 360 pop shuvit”. She tells us she is “sporting a very painful wrist and a bruised ego” and will focus on “less extreme pursuits… walking my whippet”.


Last night’s Scottish election debate made ex-Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale nostalgic. “Everyone is usually on much better terms behind the scenes than you think,” Dugdale tweeted, with a pic of Nicola Sturgeon “sharing her sweeties” with Ruth Davidson in 2016. Sugary diplomacy.

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