Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Book Stops Here Tomorrow Night!

I am so excited about reading at The Book Stops Here tomorrow night in London - because alongside me (or rather, above me) on the bill is ALI SMITH. Ali Smith, author of many award winning short story collections and novels... and one of the two main reasons I started writing short stories in the first place. Her stories and Roald Dahl's. That was what did it for me. Roald Dahl's stories when I was a child showed me the power of what can be done in a few pages, to shock and surprise. Then, years later, Ali Smith showed me the more intimate side of the short stories, ones that don't need blood, murder and policemen in order to be just as powerful, often as shocking. 

She has also been personally very supportive - I was taught by her and Toby Litt on an Arvon course in 2006 and she basically said what you would imagine in your wildest dreams that one of your gurus would say to you: "You are a writer. You can do this". Talking about permissions in an earlier post - what could be a greater permission than that - not just permission, but instruction!

Anyway, I am blogging about this in advance to try and reduce the chances of me being all fangirl-ish tomorrow night, must remain professional. Ha! Also on the bill are Joe Stretch and Essie Fox, whose writings I am not yet familiar with, I can't wait. Do come! Here are the full details
On Monday, December 10 we’ll be bringing you a very special festive* episode of The Book Stops Here (*readings may or may not actually be festive).
ALI SMITH, whose latest book Artful is part essay, part lecture, part genre-bending fiction and a loving ode to everything from Oliver Twist to Wislawa Szymborska. Daniel Hahn in the Independent on Sunday raved that it’s “Smart, allusive, informal, playful, audacious. (It’s true. I think I am in love with Ali Smith.)” Join the club, Dan. Join the club.
JOE STRETCH, reading from The Adult, which is part hilarious novel, part ode to a 90s childhood – “I knew from the first page that this was going to be a very funny book, but I didn’t realise it would have so much heart and be so beautiful” says TBSH favourite Evie Wyld.
TANIA HERSHMAN, a contributor to the STILL anthology and the latest issue of Five Dials, reading from her new collection, My Mother Was An Upright Piano – praised last week by the TLS for its “quirky, often funny focus on small-scale human oddities, anxieties and misunderstandings.”
And ESSIE FOX, the brains behind the Virtual Victorian blog and author of two Victorian novels, The Somnambulist and her most recent, Elijah’s Mermaid, which the Guardian compares to Wilkie Collins AND early Sarah Waters and says “the glee with which Fox approaches her material is infectious.” So get ready to be infected!
With books and holiday spirit. 7.30pm for drinks, 8pm for the good stuff, on Monday, December 10 at the Alley Cat bar, 4 Denmark Street.


Hayley N. Jones said...

So jealous! I fell in love with Ali Smith at some point between reading The Accidental and finishing The First Person and Other Stories. Also heard great stuff about Essie Fox - she's on my wish list!

Paul McVeigh said...

Sorry I'm going to miss it now. Have a wonderful time. Ali Smith sounds amazing.