This week, Naomi Frisby of the excellent The Writes of Woman gives her recommendation:
Recently, I’ve found myself championing experimental fiction written by women. There are two reasons for this: one, it’s a genre where I think women are producing the most interesting and innovative work and two, if you looked to mainstream coverage of experimental fiction written by women you might believe it begins and ends with Eimear McBride.
Why, I wonder, does experimental fiction by women go largely ignored?
Read the full letter here. Subscribe here for a weekly missive by a different writer on an underpraised book that deserves a wider audience than the quiet of the void. Stay tuned for a giant Christmas Unsung Letter in the coming weeks (once I get to it – it’s huge!)
Obligatory reminder in the run-up to the festive season – you can buy The Goldblum Variations for £5 here – it’s a collection of Jeff Goldblum stories. Perfect stocking filler/surprise placemat for the Jeff Goldblum appreciator in your life (or anyone who likes absurdist fun). Also if you’d like to get my novel Flesh of the Peach on its rapidly-dwindling print run, you can buy it here (worldwide free shipping) or from your local indie bookshop.
Come and join Gillian Best, Ever Dundas and me for a morning of debut fiction in Dundee. We’ll be singing siren songs about our novels, answering your bookish questions and signing your newly bought or proffered books. It’s a rather bargainous £3, so less than the price of a fancy cup of coffee. What better way to spend a Saturday morning?
From the Dundee Literary Festival website, here’s what you can expect:
In Flesh of the Peach, Scottish First Book of the Year winner Helen McClory paints a beautiful and painful portrait of a woman’s unravelling, combining exquisite, and at times experimental, prose with a powerful understanding of the effects of unresolved loss.
The Last Wave by Gillian Best is a wholly authentic, tragicomic portrait of family life as it is buffeted by sickness, intolerance, anger, failure and regret, soaked in empathy and salt water.
Ian McEwan’s Atonement meets Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth in Ever Dundas’s extraordinary debut Goblin, an utterly beguiling historical tale with an unforgettable female protagonist at its centre.
When: Saturday 21st October, 10am
Where: Bonar Hall
Tickets: £3, concession £2
Still unsure? Check out some Goodreads reviews:
The Last Wave
Flesh of the Peach
In August I appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival alongside Meena Kandasamy – we spoke about Flesh of the Peach, When I Hit You, violence, womanhood, identity, feminism in the west and in India – and had some brilliant questions from the chair, Lee Randall, and the audience. If you didn’t get the chance to attend, or just fancy listening again, you can now hear it here (on itunes) or here (on the main EIBF site)
A little while ago, I went down to Leeds for a reading event at Blackwells, and managed to squeeze in time to visit Manchester so I could be on one of my favourite podcasts (genuinely, not just saying this for effect). Unfortunately it was such a fleet visit that we couldn’t chat for long before I had to rush off for a connecting train but! You can listen to the full podcast here, in which Rob, the host, talks to Kate Feld about the upcoming Manchester Literature Festival as well as hearing a bit from me on Flesh of the Peach, research, and the formations of the next novel. Too little time, but great questions.
(a ghostly polaroid of West Sands, St Andrews)
In other news – I will be in St Andrews this Wednesday at Waterstones – 6.30pm. I’ll be chatting about the book and signing and I hope if you’re in the area you’ll come along and stymie me with a smart question or two. I attended the University of St Andrews and it’s always a delight to head back there. I hope to take more polaroids, spooky and otherwise.
The event is free and there will be refreshments. More details here.
The second series of Dan Carpenter’s The Paperchain Podcast kicks off with Gillian Best (author of The Last Wave) and I, talking about our books*, identity, tea making, dog-director puns, Flamenco cakes and, yes, Jeff Goldblum. We both wrote stories to different prompts, and Gillian’s was the aforementioned Flamenco cake, and mine was Jeff Goldblum. I think the story I wrote for it was one of my best (because it’s hard not to write a good piece on the man). Make yourself a cup of tea (or coffee, but the right way…) and have a listen here.
*Flesh of the Peach is available here (worldwide) or here in the UK.
(credit to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Heather McDaid for the image)
So I appeared last night at the Edinburgh International Book Festival alongside Meena Kandasamy, with the event chaired by Lee Randall. I was challenged by the high standard of engagement from Meena, Lee and the audience alike. Here’s a thoughtful piece covering the night from Heather McDaid.
Now the pressure’s off and I can just enjoy going to events myself. Ahh.
Make yourself a cup of tea and have a wee listen to this interview with Rebecca Smith – she asked some very thoughtful and probing questions and got me thinking hard about Flesh of the Peach in terms of sentences, plotting, grief and identity.
And a wee reminder that I will be appearing alongside Meena Kandasamy at the Edinburgh Book Festival at an event chaired by Lee Randall TOMORROW EVENING (oh my goodness, already?). Tickets are available here.