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We are delighted to hear about the launch of Jessica's book 'Thomas Hennell - The Land and the MInd'  

Jessica was at Westfield from 1985 till 1992.

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What motivated you to write this book?

'When I was at Westfield, English was one of my favourite subjects, and when I did my GCSEs and A Levels there, my English teacher was the inspirational Mr Matthews, an American who had previously taught at a school in Washington DC. He was passionate about the subject, in the way that Robin Williams’ character of (English teacher) Mr Keating is in the film Dead Poets Society. GCSE English was 100% coursework then, and I think that was when I began to write in a serious way – the course was demanding but I enjoyed it, and I realised then that I wanted writing to be a part of my life.'

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in arts?

I think most people know that it can be difficult to make a living working in the arts, but if you really want to do something then it is important to try. As the actor Ethan Hawke said recently, ‘art’s not a luxury – it’s actually sustenance. We need it.’

 

Jessica's book is out now. Read the full interview below

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