About this issue: Overview
Feeling the burn The artist in Sarah Hall’s latest novel uses fire to strengthen and enhance wood. Antonia Charlesworth finds the novelist’s love of visual art on display at home – and that her return to the Lake District has helped forge her own resilience after grief and illness. Cover and photos: Claire Griffiths
‘I study music like I’m in school’ American songwriter Ezra Furman has found critical acclaim in the UK. Could her new album bea springboard to wider success, asks Neil Tague
Spook Yourself Silly You could get chased out of a pub by a ghost at last orders or spooked by a phantom black dog. You might encounter a boggart but no one knows what they look like. Matt Badham and John Reppion go scaremongering for Halloween
We’ve also got a preview of Manchester Royal Exchange’s latest production, Let The Right One In, Former Housemartin Paul Heaton writes to his younger self, and in the news, a Lancashire based GP talks of his fears for the NHS after his own mother spent 24 hours in A&E waiting for a hospital bed. Plus all the usual reviews, comment, arts and more.