A recommendation this week of something a little different – a long poem in translation, brought to our attention by Ariell Cacciola:
It is a poem that hungrily gnaws on the antithetical senses of despair and sly humor. I couldn’t hazard a guess how many times I’ve read it (both the original and the translation) and I argue that you don’t even need to know the original German to understand the ricochet of language and anguish, the rubbery sense of voice that tugs the reader back and forth. I was lucky enough to have seen excerpts read publicly by both poet and translator, hearing the sound of each word and the relation to the next and then some.
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This week’s Unsung Letter comes to you courtesy of writer and editor of Necessary Fiction, Steve Himmer. What has he chosen to draw you to? A taste:
So it is also extremely funny in the bittersweet, laugh-or-you’ll-cry way life requires. It snuck up on me in a wonderful manner, seeming at first to be a kind of light urban fabulism. Then as characters and their tightly proscribed lives took shape, they revealed the complexities of immigration and bureaucracy and decidedly modern pains and isolations.
Read more by subscribing here – for a different book recommendation of something neglectfully undersung, written by a different writer/critic/book pusher each time.
One week from today, I’ll be joining a group of other debut writers to read at the Riff Raff‘s first event in London. We’ll be talking about publication journeys, reading from our books, and selling copies afterwards – of course accompanied by lots of friendly chat and advice, and there’s a bar. Buy your ticket here!
I’ll be selling copies of Flesh of the Peach, and the first fifteen folk who buy a copy will receive a small secret gift. I might also doodle on you book and complement your style. It all depends on the moment.
Hope to see you there!
Also while I have you – here’s a nice and very short review of Flesh of the Peach in Diva Magazine.
More events are in the planning stage (including a second trip down to London in June, and another to Leeds around the same time). All TBA as soon as they’re firmed up.
This week’s Unsung Letter is all about teenage passions of the reading kind:
The books that I read at fourteen, fifteen, sixteen were just the ones my mum had in the house, those she’d noticed reviewed in The Scotsman or The List in those years. She treated herself to a new book every couple of months and they were almost always by Scottish authors at that time. Janice Galloway, The Trick Is To Keep Breathing. AL Kennedy, Looking For The Possible Dance. Alasdair Grey, A History Maker. Trainspotting, OBVIOUSLY. This was just what adults read, I thought
What a wonderful evening – thank you so much to all who came out to celebrate Flesh of the Peach last night at Blackwell’s South Bridge, and a huge thanks to Roanna for introducing Jenny Brown and myself, and for organising – and all the staff who helped out! Thanks as always to Jenny for her hard work and for chairing.
There was a write up of the evening by Love Books Group. Check it out.
More news – I will be on BBC Radio Scotland on the Janice Forsyth Show hosted by Edi Stark TODAY from 2.44pm, and after me 404 Ink (makers of Nasty Women and general all-round excellent women themselves). Listen live online here, and find the archive if you miss it.