Professor Sophie Ratcliffe's monthly column for the Guardian: The Last Word

Sophie Ratcliffe


Professor Sophie Ratcliffe has been writing a monthly column for the Guardian called ‘The Last Word’ which explores how emotions have been portrayed in literature. So far the columns have featured themes such as hope, ambition, first love and loneliness in books and plays including The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, AmericanahMacbeth and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

The latest column, found here, explores depictions of indecision in works ranging from Samuel Beckett to Anna Burns’s Milkman. Comments are currently open, so do please add your thoughts. You can read all the previous columns on the Guardian website. Sophie says: ‘I was delighted to be commissioned by the Guardian to write this column. I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between how we feel and how we read. And much of my research, from my first book, On Sympathy, to my recent autocritical narrative about grief and reading, The Lost Properties of Love, revolves around emotions – it’s been brilliant to have the chance to be in dialogue with the public in this way’.