Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sweet Journey from Home

To Southport on Friday evening for the launch of Cary Bray's Scott-Prize-winning story collection Sweet Home. It was dreadful weather - sheets of water on the motorway, and when we got there waterfalls coming off the elegant glass arcade-type roofs that cover the pavements in Southport's centre - which last I'd never expected, never having set foot in Southport before. But Broadhurst's Bookshop was a wonderful haven, with a real and homely coal fire, and when we got there, on time, a crowd had already gathered, undaunted by the weather, and Carys was already signing copy after copy of her exciting-looking book. And there were cakes (!) which Carys had made herself, themed with the book, and very much in keeping with the great story she read us, a twist on the Hansel and Gretel tale with its gingerbread house, beautifully told with an original flair for language. If that story is anything to go by, there's an edge to Carys's writing which is anything but homely and sickly-sweet!

Broadhursts is an amazing bookshop - selling antiquarian, secondhand and new books and tiering up three storeys, it reminds me rather of Shakespeare and Company in Paris. They wrap your books in brown paper and string, pulling the string down from an antique dispenser high on the wall, and I was very torn between letting them wrap my copy of Sweet Home and leaving it available to peep into.

It was a lovely evening, and congratulations to Carys, for winning the prize and on her publication.


Carys said...

Thanks so much for coming Elizabeth. You took some lovely photographs!

Elizabeth Baines said...

It was a lovely evening, Carys. I've started reading the book, and am loving it!