Good reviews of one’s own work are so encouraging. I just discovered these wonderful reviews of Four American Tales on Goodreads, after eighteen months or so during which I have avoided social media etc. for the sake of my health. Thank you to all my reviewers, whether you have liked what I do or not. See the Goodreads reviews here.
I am tremendously excited to have finished my new novel, Farewell Olympus, which was an entirely new writing experience for me. Now it’s time to think about cover copy and book descriptions. I find it difficult to describe my own work, partly because I dislike blowing my own trumpet, partly because I can never decide what it is exactly. Farewell Olympus is no exception: I think it’s funny, but in a dry, seldom laugh-out-loud way. I also think it’s clever and entertaining, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? It has elements of mystery and thriller, but it’s definitely not either of those. About all I can say with any confidence is that it’s fiction. Here’s what I have come up with so far.
This post has been published to mark International Women’s Day (8 March) and to introduce Lisa Rüll, PhD. A while ago, in Nottingham, Lisa gave a brilliant introduction to the documentary film Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. We spoke some while after the show. This is an abbreviated transcription of a longer conversation (the recording itself can be be listened to below). I’ve made many changes here and there for clarity.
This is a lesson I missed a few decades ago maybe. Having grown up in a household where neither alcohol nor swearing was allowed, I didn’t learn how to do either activity well. I may have perfected both by now, or not. Meeting my father-in-law for the first time, I noticed how little he swore. I can remember his saying ‘damn’ once – referring to me as a ‘god damn intellectual’. No one before or since has described me that way. Of course, I loved my father-in-law for the rest of his days. Continue reading
Jonathan Coe visited Nottingham recently to introduce the film Dead of Night (1945) and to discuss his new book, Number 11. He kindly spared me a few minutes to talk to him before the show. This is a transcript of our conversation, which I recorded (the recording itself can be be listened to below). I’ve made some minor changes here and there for clarity.
Jonathan Coe and Jack Messenger at the book signing for Number 11 after a screening of Dead of Night at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.