Liz has contributed interviews, reviews and features to newspapers and magazines around the world.

Liz ThomsonFrom 1984-2008 Liz was on the staff of Publishing News, latterly as Associate Editor and Editor. The position offered a ringside seat in the book trade during an era of unprecedented change and involved reporting the day-to-day business of publishing and interviewing its key players. It also provided unique and early access to an astonishing parade of authors eager to talk about everything from a first novel to their presidential memoirs.

From 1993-95, she was literary editor of Chic and from 1997 to 2008, only thinly disguised, she penned a weekly column on publishing for the Independent.

Throughout, she has written widely on aspects of popular music for both specialist and mainstream publications. She is currently a contributing editor to, and writes regularly for the Guardian and the I.

The following selection lists articles by category in reverse chronological order.

Interviews | Reviews | Features | Opinion | Obituaries and TributesAbout



Janis Ian: ‘I make people uncomfortable’

Judy Collins on activism, trauma, ageing and addiction: ‘I had a lot of angels on my side’

Singer-songwriter Peggy Seeger: still in the vanguard of her musical dynasty

Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter: ‘I wanted to do something. I wanted to be useful in some way’

Steve Earle: My job is to have empathy

Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back – No, not Frank Sinatra but the great folk singer, Judy Collins

Last of the Mad Ones: Fifty Years after Jack Kerouac’s death, his friend David Amram is still bopping on

Saint Joan: As Joan Baez prepares to give her final performance, Liz Thomson talks to her and traces a 60-year career filled with courage and conviction

Baez bows out (PDF download)

Singer Julie Felix: friends with Leonard Cohen and dinner with David Frost

Folk revival star Bonnie Dobson on taking tea with Bob Dylan and returning to the stage

Janis Ian: 47 years of gigging

Peter Yarrow: A dragon lives forever… (PDF download)

Jane Glover: Settling a score (PDF download)

A life full of music and aiding others: Nana Mouskouri

Joan Baez: Ms Baez regrets… (PDF download)

Barbara Dickson: Don’t think twice, it’s all right

Sir Michael Tippett: Towards the millennium (PDF download)

Peter Townshend: “Running a rock band is not dissimilar from running a publishing house” (PDF download)

Joan Baez: A survivor who still sings for piece (PDF download)

Leonard Cohen: Thoughts of a ladies’ man (PDF download)


Charlotte Rampling looks at her life

Charlotte Rampling: “I had to survive”

Charlotte Rampling: “I’m now the wise woman”

Actor Charlotte Rampling’s tragic family secret

Oscar-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling talks about growing up in East Anglia

Truly Julie: Julie Walters (PDF download)

Laughter in the dark: Maureen Lipman

Vanessa Redgrave: Addressing Vanessa (PDF download)


Jimmy Carter: Renaissance man (PDF download)

Bill Clinton gives Liz Thomson an update on his memoir (PDF download)

Gerry Adams: Even the dogs in the street new the peace process was over

Liz Thomson meets the President of Sinn Fein and a Special Branch officer’s widow Part 1 | Part 2 (PDF download)

Barbara Castle: “Stuff his bloody title” (PDF download)

David Steel: A canny Scot (PDF download)

Norman Tebbit: The real Tebbit? (PDF download)


Gordon Lish, still vibrant after all these years

Oneworld piles up the wins

Sigrid Rausing: Rausing to the challenge Part 1 | Part 2 (PDF download)

Stephen Page: The cat’s whiskers (PDF download)

Carmen Callil: Sins of the father (PDF download)

Martyn Goff: A life in books

Paul Hamlyn: The last tycoon (PDF download)

Morgan Entrekin: Morgan’s next ride (PDF download)

Peter Mayer: The Tale of Peter Mayer (PDF download)

Authors, in general

Clare Pooley Makes a New Beginning In Her Debut Novel

Robert Macfarlane Heads Underground In His Latest Book

Hanan al-Shaykh’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Winds of Change: Rachel Cusk

The things Matt Haig sees

Neel Mukherjee on displacement and desire

A restaurant in London’s Soho: Clare Lattin and Tom Hill

Alan Bennett: “I hope I’m not getting too old gittish”

Alan Bennett: “One of my real regrets is that I’ve never kept a donkey”

Alan Bennett: “I blame Brexit on Mrs Thatcher. The Tories were not to be trusted”

John Preston: Sex, lies and a murder plot

Rage, rage – Harry Smith’s light burns with the heat of indignation

Andrew Motion: Poetry in motion

Dan Brown: “I sit down in my pyjamas and write”

Stef Penney: In from the cold

Ruth Gruber: A witness to history (PDF download)

Adam Gopnik: A New York state of mind (PDF download)

Amanda Vaill on Jerome Robbins: Those dancing feet (PDF download)

Julie Burchill: A once hip young gunslinger (PDF download)

Gillian Flynn: Out of the Midwest (PDF download)

Colin Larkin and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music: Go where the music takes you (PDF download)

Sharon Moalem: Doctor at large (PDF download)

Alan Bennett: Telling tales at last Part 1 | Part 2 (PDF download)

Gerald Scarfe: Scarce unravelled (PDF download)

Barry Miles: King of the counterculture Part 1 | Part 2 (PDF download)

Richard Picciotto: One year on – the fire chief’s story

James Lee Burke: Still angry after all these years (PDF download)

Sue Townsend: The grit beneath the froth (PDF download)

David Hajdu and Howard Sounes: If not for you (PDF download)


Eurthymics Songbook featuring Dave Stewart, London Palladium

Album: Rockstar, Dolly Parton

Album: Who We Used to Be, James Blunt

Thea Gilmore, Union Chapel

Album: Thea Gilmore

Album: You’re the One, Rhiannon Giddens

Judy Collins, Cambridge Folk Festival

Album: Stories from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart, Lucinda Williams

Book: An Uneasy Inheritance, Polly Toynbee

Album: Folkocracy, Rufus Wainwright

Gretchen Peters, Cadogan Hall

Album: I Only See the Moon, The Milk Carton Kids

Album: In Between Thoughts… A New World, Rodrigo y Gabriela

Album: Stolen from God, Reg Meuross

Suzanne Vega, Royal Festival Hall

Album: Willie Nelson – I Don’t Know a Thing About Love: The Songs of Harlan Howard

Transatlantic Sessions, Southbank Centre – An Evening of Stellar Music-making

Album Shania Twain – Queen of Me

Mary Gauthier, Union Chapel – A Living Room Concert in All But Name

The Manhattan Transfer, Queen Elizabeth Hall – A Class Act

Barbara Dickson, Cecil Sharp House – Intimate and Beautifully Paced

Album: Bruce Springsteen – Only The Strong Survive

Angeline Morrison, Cecil Sharp House – A Ballad-maker for Our Time

Bob Dylan, London Palladium: Why I Won’t Be Buying Tickets to See Him Live Again

Cambridge Folk Festival 222 review – A Welcome Cherry Hinton Reunion

Album: Mary Gauthier – Dark Enough to See the Stars

Album: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Dirt Does Dylan

Album: Kate Rusby – 30: Happy Returns

Album: Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time

Album: Bonnie Raitt – Just Like That

Album: Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage – Ink of the Rosy Morning

Album: Judy Collins – Spellbound

Album: Le Vent du Nord – 20 Printemps

Album: Janis Ian – The Light at the End of the Line

Album: Willie Nelson – The Nelson Family

Rufus Wainwright, London Palladium review – superb musicianship and a warm welcome

Album: Standing in the Doorway – Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan

Reclaiming Amy, BBC Two review – Winehouse family and friends remember

Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan, Royal Opera House, review: This return to live music felt raggedy and slapdash

Sheryl Crow, The Songs and The Stories, review: A powerful evening at church

Ed Miliband: Go Big – How to Fix Our World review – reasons to hope

Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs of Bob Dylan, review: one of his best shows in years

Van Morrison, Real World Studios, review: New horrors and old classics

Craig Taylor: New Yorkers – A City and Its People in Our Time

Steve Hackett – Under A Mediterranean Sky

Eddie S Glaude Jr: Begin Again – James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today review – can America avoid the fire this time?

Steve Earle & The Dukes – JT

Mary Chapin Carpenter, One Night Lonely livestream review – down-home and perfectly paced

Patrick Barwise and Peter York: The War Against the BBC review – we won’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone

David Crosby: Remember My Name, Sky Arts review – a rock icon looks in the mirror

Barbara Dickson – Time is Going Faster

Elvis Costello – Hey Clockface

Melody Gardot – Sunset in the Blue

Katie Melua – Album No 8

Loudon Wainwright III with Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks – I’d Rather Lead a Band

Bob Woodward: Rage review – terror and tyranny in the White House

Suzanne Vega – An Evening of New York Songs and Stories

Cara Dillon Live at Cooper Hall, YouTube review – a warm Irish welcome

Tanya Donelly and The Parkington Sisters

Jenny Diski – Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told? Essays – a posthumous collection from the pages of the LRB

Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers

Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm, BBC Four – the amazing story of Britain’s own honky chateau

Rufus Wainwright – Unfollow the Rules

Willie Nelson – First Rose of Spring

Romeo and Michele Stodart Present… The Thank-You Green Note Fundraiser, YouTube – saving Camden’s go-to music venue

Laura Marling, Union Chapel, YouTube – communication breakdown

Dion – Blues With Friends

Billy Bragg in support of The Leadmill, Facebook Live – fundraising success of a lounge act

Steve Earle & The Dukes – Ghosts of West Virginia

The Shadows at Sixty, BBC Four – pop’s age of innocence

Fink, Bloom Innocent – Acoustic

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Netflix review – a friendly provocateur

Nels Andrews – Pigeon and The Crow

Pokey LaFarge – Rock Bottom Rhapsody

Elton John’s iHeart Living Room Concert for America, YouTube – the real star was a Mayo Clinic doctor named Elvis

Rock ‘n’ Roll Island: Where Legends Were Born, BBC Four – remembering rock’s big bang

The Story of Ready Steady Go!, BBC Four – when life was fab

The Indigo Girls, Facebook Live – lightening the blues

Reg Meuross and David Massengill, Green Note, Camden – master craftsmen at work

Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Eventim Apollo – and the band played on

James Taylor, American Standard – a trip down memory lane

Album: Sam Lee, Old Wow – a hymn to Mother Nature

Gerde’s Folk City at 60, The Iridium, New York City – a celebration of the legendary folk club

Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong

Judy Collins, Grand Central Hall, Liverpool review – how sweet the sound, even at 80

Rod Stewart, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, O2 review – Tonight’s the Night

Rufus and Martha Wainwright, A Not So Silent Night

Billy Bragg – a pep talk from the progressive patriot

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi – musical togetherness

Darlingside – finger-picking good

Lisa Stansfield – mutual Affection, 30 years on

Thomas J Campanella: Brooklyn – The Once and Future City – out of Manhattan’s shadow

Burt Bacharach with Joss Stone – an evening of timeless classics

Stevie Wonder – The Master Blaster steps out

Sarah Jane Morris & Tony Rémy –- Sweet Little Mystery: The Songs of John Martyn

Tony Bennett – still cutting it at 92

Billy Joel – The Entertainer delivers

Anthony B Atkinson: Measuring Poverty Around the World – first, second and third world problems

Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds – Singing It All Back Home: Appalachian Ballads of English and Scottish Origin

The Waterboys – energetic delights

Mark Knopfler – The Sultan’s Return

Steve Earle & the Dukes – Guy

David Hepworth: A fabulous creation – how vinyl soothed our souls and defined our being

Loreena McKennitt, Royal Albert Hall – making Celtic connections

I’m Every Woman, JW3, London – a musical celebration of International Women’s Day

Jason Mraz, Royal Albert Hall – a rare UK visit from the Grammy-winning organic farmer

Joan Baez, London Palladium – fare-thee-well generosity

Dido – Still On My Mind

Jill Abramson: Merchants of Truth – news in the age of digital disruption

Morrissey and Marshall – And So It Began Again… Acoustically

Katie Doherty & The Navigators – And Then

Katie Melua and Gori Women’s Choir, Central Hall Westminster, London – Georgia on her mind

The Albion Christmas Band – Under the Christmas Tree

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall – all stand for the piano man

Cliff Richard: Rise Up

The Ballads of Child Migration, St James’s Church, Clerkenwell – into the heart of darkness

Mumford & Sons – Delta

The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Vaudeville Theatre – more tribute act than theatre piece

Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – The Capitol Studios Sessions

Roseanne Cash: She Remembers Everything

David Crosby: Here If You Listen

Duane Eddy, London Palladium – The twang’s the thang

Jackie Oates: The Joy of Living

Cambridge Folk Festival: women rule the roost

Tom Baxter: The Other Side of Blue

Joan Baez, Royal Albert Hall review – diamonds, but no rust

Jennifer Warnes – Another Time, Another Place

Gretchen Peters – Dancing with the Beast

Clancy Sigal: The London Lover review – a merry prankster’s very long weekend

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Barbican, review – a three-decade retrospective

Richard Vinen: The Long ‘68

Mary Chapin Carpenter: Sometimes Just the Sky

Lynne Murphy: The Prodigal Tongue

Beth Nielsen-Chapman, Cadogan Hall – Nashville chats

Don McLean: Botanical Gardens

Dian Jones, The Lexington – At the crossroads of folk and country

Stephen Stills and Judy Collins: Everybody Knows

Joan Baez: Whistle Down the Wind

Beth Nielsen- Chapman: Hearts of Glass

I’m With Her, Bush Hall: folk supergroup debut album to treasure

Nick Coleman: Voices

Tom Russell, 100 Club: tales from a time-honoured troubadour

Neil Young + Promise of the Real: The Visitor

Mavis Staples: If All I Was Was Black

Seeger MacColl Family, Cecil Sharp House – keeping the tradition alive

Richard F Thomas: Why Dylan Matters

The Corrs: Jupiter Calling

Peggy Seeger: The First Time Ever – A Memoir

Woody Guthrie: “The true voice of the American spirit”

Sparks: 02 Shepherd’s Bush – Age does not wither them

Jon Boden: Afterglow

Neil Sedaka: Royal Albert Hall – Sparkly veteran defies the decades

Josh Ritter: Gathering

Adam Macqueen: The Lies of the Land – light but enlightening

Tom Russell: Folk Hotel

Kev Minney: Stories of the Sky

Joan Osborne: Songs of Bob Dylan

Jason Webster: Fatal Sunset – more flavoursome crime from Valencia

Songdog: Joy Street

Indigo Girls: Islington Assembly Hall – exhilarating and generous

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Cadogan Hall – love, peace and harmonies

Danny Goldberg: In Search of the Lost Chord – 1967 well-remembered

Chris Patten: A Sort of Memoir – remembrances of government and power

Steve Earle & The Dukes: So you wanna be an outlaw

Billy Bragg: Roots, Radicals and Rockers

Bella Bathurst: Sound – review: An illuminating book on deafness

Bob Dylan, Wembley Arena – mannered vocals, poor sound, upsetting

John Mellencamp: Sad Clowns and Hillbillies

Donna Leon: Earthly Remains

Ray Davies: Americana

Sharon Shannon: Sacred Earth

John Mayall, Ronnie Scott’s

Imelda May: Life. Love. Flesh. Blood

Radio 2 Folk Awards, Royal Albert Hall

Tom Waits: Tales from a cracked jukebox

Josh Ritter, St Stephen’s Church

Barbara Dickson, Union Chapel

Judy Collins: A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim

Alison Kruass: Windy City

Yiyun Li: Dear Friend, from my life I write to you in your life

James Lee Burke: The Jealous Kind

Dolly Parton: Pure and Simple

Martin Carthy: Folk star still singing after all these years

Martha Wainwright: Goodnight City

The New Yorker Book of the Sixties

Alan Bennett: Keeping on Keeping on

Hampstead-born Martin Carthy returns to play in Crouch End

Folk City (PDF download)

Paul Robeson: A Watched Man by Jordan Goodman

All These Years: The Beatles Volume One by Mark Lewisohn

The Story of Music by Howard Goodall

I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons

My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte

This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the journey of an American folksong

A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King

All the Madmen by Clinton Heylin

The Man Who Recorded the World: A Biography of Alan Lomax by John Szwed

Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz

Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes

Mary Quant: Autobiography

London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945 by Barry Miles

In the Seventies: Adventures in the Counterculture by Barry Miles

Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol 2 – 1974-2008

Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol 1 -1957-73 by Clinton Heylin

The Cambridge Companion to The Beatles edited by Keith Womack

A Shirtbox full of Songs by Barbara Dickson

You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett

Everything is Connected by Daniel Barenboim and Music at the Limits by Edward W Said

Memoirs by Nana Mouskouri

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music edited by Colin Larkin

Ragged Glories: City Lights, Country Funk, American Music by Barney Hoskyns

The Bob Dylan Scrapbook 1956-1966 by Robert Santelli

John by Cynthia Lennon

The Rolling Thunder Logbook by Sam Shepard

Joan Baez at the Bottom Line

Revolution in the Head / Summer of Love (PDF download)

How Can I keep from Singing: Pete Seeger  (PDF download)

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock ‘n’ Roll/The Illustrated Rock Handbook/Popular Music 3 (PDF download)

Lennon’s epitaph (PDF download)


The Bob Dylan signature scandal could destroy his legacy forever

On the Road Again: Jack Kerouac’s romantic image might have outlasted his greatest work

Bob Dylan at 80: How ‘the singing poet laureate of young America’ shaped the 21st century

Tangled Up in Blue: Bob Dylan turns 80

‘I was writing about life. That’s why I had songs banned’ – Loretta Lynn: country music’s original badass

From Scotland with love and peace: Folk icon’s songs of justice would be heard around the world

Maxwell Perkins: the publisher who took a chance on an unknown author called F Scott Fitzgerald

Now is the hour – 103 and trending: Dame Vera Lynn eight decades after her debut

Eighty years of cat and mouse: the timeless appeal of Tom and Jerry

Behind the Scenes of the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame

Desmond Elliott: From Dublin orphanage to the toast of literary London

My father was failed by his homecare company

Five myths about Bob Dylan

Un livre sur l’homosexualité au Maroc remporte le Prix Littéraire de La Mamounia

Gone with the Wind: The legend lives on as a musical of the novel hits the West End

Looking for diamonds in the slush pile

Hollywood on the Hudson: A walking tour of Greenwich Village (PDF download)


Virtual literary and music festivals will never match the thrill of a chat over a glass of wine and meeting famous faces in real life

Why Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for Literature is long overdue

Bob Dylan’s Nobel: “Yippie! I’m a poet and I know it/Hope I don’t blow it”

Yes, Bob Dylan absolutely deserves the Nobel

When we as patients talk about the NHS, it’s personal (PDF download)

Forty years on, welcome to the new plutocracy (PDF download)

What does Brexit mean for publishing?

Johnson’s Shakespeare, or Much Ado About Nothing

A degree of thought: PRH opens its doors to bright non-graduates

U.K. bookselling adjusting to the new normal

Gail Rebuck and Victoria Barnsley: The dethroned queens of the publishing industry

Reading to live well

No experience necessary – Ebury ad raises ire

Belafonte: singer and history man

Self-publishing: time for a reality check

Creative writing or creative accounting?

Are publishing courses about writing, or creative writing?

Oxfam: Time to examine the terms of trade

Why size matters

Morrisey: An error of taste and judgment

Tallis, James and Music for Pleasure

Words on music

Obituaries and Tributes

Iradj Bagherzade – publisher behind IB Tauris, adding a Middle Eastern perspective to western conceptions of the arts, culture and politics

Philip Kogan – founder of the publisher Kogan Page, one of the first companies to focus on business and management titles

Carmen Callil – publisher who founded Virago, which champions women’s writing and books on feminist topics

Tom Maschler obituary – Booker Prize founder and publisher of some of the greats of 20th-century fiction

Josephine Cox obituary – writer whose bestselling novels were based on the people and communities she had known in the north of England

Wendy Cooling obituary – teacher, author and anthologist who founded Bookstart to give babies and toddlers their first reading experiences

Felicity Bryan obituary – dynamic literary agent with an extraordinary gift for nurturing new talent

Cecil Woolf

Peter Mayer

Livia Gollancz

Ernest Hecht

Carole Blake: Obituary

Lord Weidenfeld: Obituary

Jackie Collins: Obituary

Elisabeth Maxwell: A widow’s pique

Fred Newman: Co-founder of the British Book Awards

Fred Newman, 1932-2008


A simple twist of fate – how a chance encounter with ‘Joan Baez, Vol 2’ 50 years ago led to a festival in Downtown Manhattan

Square Roots Productions: ‘Our special transatlantic bond is music’

New morning: on stepping down from the book trade

My back pages: Reflections on a New York book launch

A biography re-released to coincide with Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday gives a real insight into the star’s life

Restoring Robert Shelton’s Bob Dylan biography: Q&A