Sunday, 13 June 2010

A rare quality

In a feature in the Camden New Journal about both the book Are they funny, are they dead? and its author, Marjorie Ann Watts recalls how she was told by a publisher that she could only have her stories published after she’d written a novel; so she did so, and the publisher liked it, but then ‘told me I was too old – I didn’t have a three-book deal in me’.

The article continues: ‘Breathtaking ageism, which is their loss. Her writing is both beautiful and spare, immediately gripping, and has the rare quality of revealing a character in a few words. “How Things Turn Out”, the story of a tycoon’s flawed relationship with his children, starts: “Lord Porter had married young and then forgotten about it. He supposed he had loved his wife, he had never given it much thought.” In “Birthdays” (which won a literary prize), the entire tragedy of one woman’s life is there in a few domestic exchanges over the breakfast table . . .’

Buy the book here. Or order from your local bookshop.

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