Friday, April 08, 2016

Wales Arts Review reviews Used to BE

Here's a great new review of Used to Be in the Wales Arts Review - very insightful in terms of my basic themes and preoccupations. I didn't see it for a while, as I've not been on social media much - coming to the end of a big writing project means spending any spare time catching up in the garden, cleaning the sadly neglected house and spending hours and hours fiddling about with the manuscript - I've edited it twice now, but every time I look at the damn thing I see something that needs changing, and then I have to redo it and print out the changed pages again for my beta readers, who prefer hard copy.

The review, by Frances Spurrier, comments on the way some of the stories touch on technology, which I hadn't thought of myself - I tend to think I've left behind my obsession with technology, as worked out in The Birth Machine and some of my earlier stories, having become more interested in storytelling and memory, but I guess those things are intertwined, all feeding into my underlying theme of power which I made most explicit in Balancing on the Edge of the World.

I'm pretty chuffed by Frances Spurrier's comment:
 'While it may be easy enough to have existential anxieties, to ask what is real and what is not, to question the reliability of memory – it is not at all easy to ask big questions in this most difficult of writing forms, the short story, and using such lucid and poetic prose as the author here uses.'
Off to London today, to the launch of Isobel Dixon's new poetry collection Bearings - can't wait, I love her poetry!

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