Posts tagged fiction

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

This is a book of two halves. The first half is set in an unnamed African country that bears more than a passing resemblance to Zimbabwe, and the second half is set in the USA. Narrating both halves is Darling, a ten-year-old child in the first half and a teenager in the second. Her voice is compelling and beautifully written… Read More

The blurb has landed

Ah, things are really rolling now. After the mysterious appearance of a listing for my next novel on Amazon recently, now a blurb has appeared in my email inbox. It’s quite strange and in some ways depressing to see several years of work reduced to a blurb, but I think they did a good job of making it sound interesting…. Read More

Lucky Seven challenge

British crime writer Tom Quigley tagged me a while back in the Lucky Seven challenge, which involves publishing an extract from a current work in progress. Travelling delayed my response, but here it is. The rules were to go to page 7, line 7 of my work-in-progress novel, and post the following 7 lines of prose. I chose to post… Read More

The ingredients of fiction

Writing fiction is not really about making stuff up. It’s more about making sense of what you already have stored somewhere in your memory or subconscious, dusting it off, ordering it and making it intelligible to the rest of the world. The hope is that the things you write about will also resonate with other people, not by teaching them… Read More

“Too Loud a Solitude” by Bohumil Hrabal

The narrator of Too Loud a Solitude is an idiot. His boss despises him, others laugh at him. He drinks beer all day, and works in a cellar compacting wastepaper. He has been compacting wastepaper in the same cellar with the same hydraulic press for 35 years, and has picked out classics of world literature from the garbage, amassing a… Read More

“Saturday” by Ian McEwan

Not my favourite McEwan – that is Atonement by a long way. This was OK, a more meditative book, full of long meandering passages from the head of Henry Perowne, a successful neurosurgeon living in Marylebone with his successful wife and talented blues-musician son, awaiting the return from France of his beautiful and talented and successful daughter. A man so… Read More

“Evening is the Whole Day” by Preeta Samarasan

Update: I interviewed Preeta Samarasan about this book and her writing in general – to listen to the interview, click here.   This book grew on me. At first I found the amount of detail overwhelming, and thought the pace was too slow. Gradually, though, I got used to the style. By the end, I thought it was one of… Read More