(disclaimer: post written under severe sleep deprivation.)
I think I became a writer at the right time. Right for publishing ? The right time to enter a market that so many claim is dying? When paper is to be replaced by screen? Doesn’t make sense does it? But, it is the right time for me, as a person, as a writer.
About 2 years back a mildly successful writer critiqued my first novel. His feedback: you’ll never publish this book – it’s a bestselling plot with some of the most literary prose I have ever come across. Who will read it? Who will you target? There is just no market, he said. You are all mixed up.
Hmmmm. Ok. Took that critique and stored it, wondering from time to time if he could be right. Then I read Through Black Spruce, by Joseph Boyden. A page turner, fantastic prose. Well, well, I thought once I realized it. Then I read Gargoyle, by Davidson. More recently, the Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon. All of these literary page turners.
I just finished Bishop’s Man, by Linden MacIntyre. There is so much to say about this novel, outstanding and suprising, yet I’ll stick to topic.
He writes: The woman with the tennis racket runs like a deer, I thought, white teeth flashing like the froth behind the distant boat, chasing the ball with long, smooth strides. I wondered: is she married? Images resurfaced, I felt the gentle movement in my chest. It’s why the poets focused on the heart.
This is just one example in a book laden with beautiful prose.
Some pages later, he ends a chapter: He told me himself and I can still hear him: There will be lots of summers. And he was smiling when he said it. He wouldn’t have lied. Not to a priest.
Of course, I had to keep reading, yet MacIntyre scatters his thoughts and flashbacks throughout, hooking me so that I need to plow through the book to find out what will happen, yet at the same time needing to slowly relish his words. All mixed up, and it’s wonderful!
I didn’t add any links here, but these book are certainly worth reading. I can’t be the only one reading literary page turners. Two of these books I mention here won the Giller Prize, another short listed. It’s great to be in a time when literature is moving in so many directions.
I hope everyone is well. I am hurrying to catch up on all of you, yet am not succeeding – just another way I am all mixed up at the moment. Thinking of you all!