Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lunch times 2

Choose. On the right is the cover of the forthcoming Faber edition of Christopher Reid’s The Song of Lunch, taken from amazon, and it features Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson looking – well, looking as if they are staring at a man with a camera and getting rather bored while he fiddles with his settings. That’s the one you’ll be stuck with if you don’t order the CBe edition within the next couple of weeks or so.

Preferably from the website. Other selling avenues are more of an obstacle course. I sent 50 copies of Lunch up to Edinburgh for Christopher’s reading at the festival last month; then they couldn’t find them – no, wait, they did find them, and rushed them to the venue, but only after most of the audience had gone home. The books are now stuck in an Edinburgh warehouse; a man will let me know ‘when they surface’ and send them back, but most likely not until after the Faber edition comes out and I’m not allowed to sell them. And today I got an email from someone who had ordered the CBe edition from her library – the library told her it hadn’t been published.

The same correspondent told me to look in the current Vogue. A tiny mention: ‘Highbrow affairs of the heart . . . a dramatic re-enactment of Christopher Reid’s nostalgic break-up poem, The Song of Lunch (BBC2 October)’. Browsing in the local newsagent’s, I had to look hard for that. It’s buried among hundreds of glossy women with wonderful bodies in expensive clothes ('Cheryl wears silk chiffon dress, £5,100, Dior'), nearly all of them looking not just bored but sulky. Come on, I kept muttering. Say cheese.

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