On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

This summer

I have read:   Claire Tomalin's life of Charles Dickens.  The Orange prize-winning The Song of Achilles.  Jeanette Winterson:  Why be happy when you can be normal?  Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth.  A few others I won't mention.

A bumper summer, I'd say, but unusually, no classics.  Often I'll immerse myself in a Trollope or a Dickens or an Eliot or such.

The key to all these books, I guess, is texture.  There's so much going on beyond the page.  The reader is conscious of this great richness of experience and research and life and reading - not that it's pressed upon us, it's just there.

Isn't it strange how for an avid reader, a holiday is only complete if there's this other world.  The clamour of an airport, the silence of a strange room at night, the heat of a beach, all accompanied by someone else's words. And the book can be set aside for a while, but back it comes, to straighten out the soul by embedding the reading in this other, ordered world of the book and to add layer upon layer of story and character and thought and feeling.

Hooray for literature.

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