This week’s Unsung Letter brings us an insight into the beautiful silver thread that can join reader and book, the thread of personal connection brought about by the right letters strung along in front of our eyes.
On paper it sounds like a bit of a misery memoir: girl comes home to Orkney follow stint in rehab for addiction, trying to heal herself through writing and being close to nature. But Liptrot’s story is anything but miserable: she finds that her life is full of resonances that for years she was too busy to hear, but now echo to her from unexpected corners and reverberate through her new self. If this sounds rather dippy-hippy and saccharine, Liptrot’s writing isn’t that either: it’s bright and clear and incisive, knife-sharp. There is also inherent danger in her story. It is the tale of one living so close to the edge of the normal world that the drop seems at times inevitable.
Read more here.
The Unsung Letter is a weekly tinyletter featuring one new(ish) under-hyped book, sung to the rafters by a different writer/poet/critic/book-pusher every time.
One last image from by the falls of the Clyde. I haven’t had time to take pictures of the glorious sunshine here today, only time to be blinded by it on making my way to the local gym. I’d forgotten my sunglasses, and really regretted it. Pale eyes used to low winter sun and many cloudy days, exposed to a shock of brightness. Spring, all at once, kicking the old season back before even most trees have budded.
I’m not going to ramble about the weather – as much as I’d like to – but to share some news. My agent, the lovely Drea Cohane is jetting off shortly for London for the Book Fair and from there to Edinburgh, where I’ll get to meet her for a second time. Of course she’s not just coming to have a wee catch up with me, but to chat with people at Canongate Press. For those of you don’t know them, they are a well regarded Scottish publisher who just so happened to pick up Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope right before the author suddenly became quite famous.
They also published M.J Hyland, who wrote the excellent How The Light Gets In. I mention her because of an incident in which C, M.J Hyland and I tried to go bowling, and failed, and had some tea and interesting chat instead. That was the only time I met her, much to my regret, as she was fascinating (you hope for that from all the writers whose work you enjoy, but I’m not sure it’s the case). Anyway, back to the present – I’m glad to see Drea making further contacts, and look forward to taking her to Edinburgh’s only Vietnamese restaurant when she gets in, around mid April.
The other piece of news I have is quite unexpected and wonderful. I’ve been asked to contribute book reviews for PANK’s blog! This came about after I saw that Roxane Gay, on htmlgiant, was giving away free books, and being a poor and bookhungry sort, I jumped at the chance. This lead to an email exchange, and to the very kind offer. I’m a little nervous, to be honest – hoping that my review will be up to the caliber of other reviews on PANK.
If you don’t know the site you should try to check it out. Aside from publishing short and longer fiction and poems and reviewing books, they run a great series called ‘ask the author’ where an author is asked questions based on the poetry or prose of theirs that Pank has published. A zany alternative to drier ‘where do you get your ideas’ interviews. As ever I’ll be putting links up here (provided all goes well) as and when reviews come out.