Skip to main content

Reading

Reading is just as important to a writer as writing itself, and reading as a writer is learning to look at the house of fiction not by the initial admiration of it's look, but at the bricks and mortar with which it has been built. One of my favourite reads this year, so far, was the outstandingly constructed Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The painstaking construction of the vastly differing narratives didn't reduce my ability to get engrossed in the stories, and how they interweaved was magical. In fact., reading Cloud Atlas forced me to question some of my narratological prejudices. I have always claimed not to like science fiction but I enjoyed this element in Cloud Atlas.

Another title that challenged my readerly prejudices was A Clockwork Orange. I had seen snippets of the Kubrick film and was in no way attracted and thought the book would have nothing to say to me. However, having to read it as part of my degree I couldn't have been more wrong. Within half a page I was hooked, and it had such an influence that it sowed the idea for A Clockwork Apple.

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Good Canary

Forgot to mention that we went to see Good Canary at Kingston's Rose Theatre last week. Star role played by the brilliantly intense Freya Mavor, who plays a speed addict. It's directed by John Malkovich - his UK's theatre directorial debut. Will try and post more about it later.