Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
New Paul Murray, The Art of Finding a Protagonist, Joan Didion and Women, and more . . .
The Mark and the
Void Paul Murray Sneak Peek
What links the
Investment Bank of Torabundo, www.myhotswaitress.com
(yes, with an s, don't ask), an art heist, a novel called For the Love of a Clown,
a six-year-old boy with the unfortunate name of Remington Steele, a lonely
French banker, a tiny Pacific island, and a pest control business run by an
ex-KGB agent? Only one thing, really: Paul Murray's madcap new novel, The Mark and the Void. It's the
first we've heard from the man since the wild Skippy Dies, and we're pleased to
announce his upcoming tour this fall. And to whet your whistle (and attempt
an explanation), here's the first few pages from the new novel in stores
What Will She Do?:
The Art of Finding a Protagonist Susanna Moore On Writing
I begin with a
character. As you know, there are many kinds of characters - Henry James's
peripheral but all the same essential character who observes the narrative
with the same mystification and curiosity as does the reader; Joan Didion's
ironical and vaguely menacing character, sometimes even the writer Joan
Didion herself, who tells you the plot in the first paragraph, and then
fills in the blanks; Stendhal's historical figure, who is a creature both
of his own ambition and the strivings of history. The character with whom I
begin is a solitary figure, and always a woman (at least so far). But what
is it that I am to do with her? Better still, what is it that she will do?
If I trust her, she will tell me.