life after death: on Michel Faber’s Book of Strange New Things

The story behind Michel Faber’s extraordinary novel, The Book of Strange New Things, is almost too sad to contemplate. This outstanding writer, with such a bold and unusual imagination, speaks about his grief at the death of his wife and tells us that he felt he couldn’t keep writing as he nursed her in her last days. But she, as she had done from the start, urged him to keep writing, asking him to write just six sentences a day.

He did, and while the book does appear to show signs of the difficulty he had to finish it, it is also a remarkable achievement, all the more so because this writer, who lives in Edinburgh, says the book will be his last. Continue reading

Tough reading in a good way

Charlotte Wood has admitted her rage at the way young women are blamed for their own victimisation was the catalyst for The Natural Way of Things. Well, it certainly gave her the impetus for a strong novel. Shocking but well controlled: be very interesting to see how this one goes down with readers: