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Showing posts from May, 2011

FLASH FICTION: The Bookseller

Right come in nice an’ close. That’s it, get a bit friendly – no need to tell the old man, right love? I tell you what, and this is straight up, you’ll see bargains ‘ere today you ain’t gonna get a sniff of elsewhere. And I’m only ‘ere today. So don’t go down Oxford Street thinkin’ you’ll get a treat like this tomorrow. Nah come on love, don’t laugh, I do this for a livin’. You wanna spend yer money in Selfridges, I’m sure they’d love to ‘ave it. Me, I’ve got books, whatever you like. You like your classics Miss, I can tell. Got a touch of the Brontes about you, bit pale know what I mean. I’ve got yer thrillers, yer love stories, yer modern literary classics. You wanna give us a bit of room, mate – these are people who actually read books. Only ‘avin a laugh. Right Bernie’s got the van round the back of Wigmore Street, so if there’s anything I ain’t got in me suitcase, chances are Bernie’ll sort it. So ‘ere we go. I’ve got these, a collection of early twentieth century modernist class…

DISTANT WATER - Stories From Grimsby's Fishing Fleet

Distant Water was launched this evening at Grimsby’s Fishing Heritage Centre.A fair old gathering of former trawlermen, many of whom were interviewed for the book, made it along; some alone, others with their families. Above all, it was an evening to celebrate their working lives and to thank them for their contributions to the book.
When you take traditional historical research and bring it together with oral history, there comes a point in the writing process where, if the subject matter is good enough, you have to lose yourself. Your own narrative voice is given wholly to the mission of creating a deeper understanding of your interviewees’ lives.
For Distant Water, the memories of fishermen are told with such clarity and with a richness of language that the best you can do as a writer is to step back and allow the voices to speak. You shape their stories, tying up loose ends, making them work on the page and providing context whilst keeping faith with the narrative that emerges. But…


In Jessie Lamb’s world there are no Thought Police or Republic of Gilead.Her comfortable suburb of Manchester is entirely recognisable. Jane Rogers' eighth novel makes a point of co-opting the ordinary, the everyday world of scrambled eggs, mum and dad’s arguments, college relationships and teenage loyalties. However, in Jessie’s world – a few months into the future – women have been infected by a virus known as maternal death syndrome (MDS). Once MDS is contracted, any woman who becomes pregnant develops a fatal form of CJD, dying within days. The human race must confront its demise. The novel has echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale and Children Of Men, but it is the 360-degree realisation of 21st century community in the process of fracture, told in the voice of an assured, intelligent 16 year old that makes Jessie’s story so captivating. This is a nightmare in waiting; society still functions as the adult world looks to science for solutions. But for groups of young people like Jessie…