Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We Love This Book Weekly Selections
The Booker Prize winner tells us about his new novel The Daughters of Mars, about two First World War nurses
I suppose I’d better come clean and say that I’m fascinated by war and its moral and physical aspects. My earliest memories from the bush town in which I then lived were of men going to war, including my father. Though we then lived in Sydney, Australia, after coming down from the bush, I was only one degree of separation from Nazism, and then only one degree of separation from the advance of Japanese militarism in the Pacific. I think this fascination is contradictorily mixed with my having been involved in peace marches. I was very much ‘helped’ – if that’s the word – by my experiences in Eritrea of its largely unreported but brutal war against Ethiopia.


The author tells us about her love of all things gothic and her new novel
“I seem to be addicted to using gothic tropes. They’re just the things that I naturally want to explore. There’s the relationship between the present and the past: for me, history by itself is not interesting. It’s the way it refuses to disappear from the present, and the way secrets from the past tend to come up into the future. There are issues of identity, and anxieties around women and their place in the world. And then there are labyrinths, whether they are real ones like the maze in The Forgotten Garden, or just the puzzle-like nature of my novels.”

Lemony Snicket's creator Daniel Handler reveals all about his new series
Handler started to plan his All the Wrong Questions series, which introduces a young Lemony Snicket, while he was still writing A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was his take on gothic novels: “At that time, I began to take interest in film noir and writers such as Raymond Chandler, and I started to think about Lemony Snicket as a young man participating in a ‘noiry’ world. So much noir takes place in blue-collar towns at various stages of economic collapse which is tied to the moral collapse of the characters, and it felt pregnant with possibilities."

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