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The joy of righteousness Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Talking with my son recently – he works in the field of international development – we turned to the current phenomenon of young British men being drawn to fight for ISIS. I put forward a view I’d read in a recent article, that this could be seen as a form of narcissism, a means of gaining attention from a society¬†that marginalises them. My son suggested another view. It’s all about the joy of being right, he said, and everyone else being wrong. As soon as he said it, I found myself agreeing. It’s a much under-rated drive, this need to Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by William Johnston

June 23rd 2015

Dear William Nicholson, I am a huge fan of your novel "The Wind Singer". I am absolutely fascinated by the world that you have created. In fact, you inspired me to begin writing myself - I have just written a play that is being performed in the National Theatre, London! I really believe that this book would make a brilliant film! I am an aspiring actor, and I would just like to ask, if this book was ever made into a film, would you give me the privilege of auditioning for Bowman Hath? I am 16 years old and live in London. Thank you very much for your time, William. Yours sincerely, William Johnston

William Nicholson responded:

I'm tremendously impressed that you've written a play for the National. Congratulations. A thrilling career lies ahead of you. As for a film of The Wind Singer, I too would love it to happen, but there's no sign of it at present. Maybe one day...

Posted by Jenny

June 17th 2015

I listened to your talk at the cathedral on Monday evening and enjoyed it. Thank you. I didn't have chance to ask a question before the event ended. You talked about God, love (sex) and death being themes that run through your work and that you don't believe in a religion now or God. Do you feel that the above are one and the same thing really and elements of a soul or energy running through everything or are they all separate elements and only part of this human existence? Secondly, you spoke of Truth and particularly it showed itself in Emily Dickinson's poems. Do you see an eternal Truth underlying everything or are you referring to theTruth that is different for us all according to our experiences?

William Nicholson responded:

Big questions. The simple answer is, I don't 'believe' anything - God, soul, energy, anything. I am alive, and surrounded by life, and do my best to see clearly and not to deceive myself. This reality must be the same for everyone as for me, but of course we have so many powerful motives for deceiving ourselves that we do understand it differently. An eternal truth underlying everything? No - just: what is. It's not eternal, everything passes. There's no hidden meaning (or so it seems to me). If this is the case, how can we endure the injustice of daily life and the arbitrary nature of death? The answer is, we have no choice. So my aim is to learn to accept reality, to reduce as much as I can the neurotic fears that make life stressful and unhappy, and to maximise the joy to be found. For me this is a process of knowing myself and others more deeply. This is love. The rewards are immense, paradise is all round us, but it's going to end. So there you are. Try me in a year or so's time and no doubt I'll say something different.

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Past and current works



Greetings cards hand-written by me that say the things you can't say, now available here.


  • The Lovers of Amerherst
  • The Society of Others
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • All the Hopeful Lovers
  • The Golden Hour
  • Motherland
  • Reckless


  • The Windsinger
  • Slaves of the Mastery
  • Firesong
  • Seeker
  • Jango
  • Noman
  • Rich and Mad


  • Shadowlands
  • Gladiator
  • Mandela
  • Les Miserables
  • Firelight
  • Nell
  • Sarafina
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age


  • The Retreat from Moscow
  • Shadowlands
  • Katherine Howard