Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jane Rogers and Rachel Genn

I haven't been going out much at all lately - for the first time in my life I don't particularly want to: when I finish actually writing for the day all I want to do is sit around tinkering with it in my mind and thinking about next day's episode: just waiting for bed, really, so I can wake up and start again...

But I couldn't miss the launch last night of a new book by Jane Rogers and a debate on the value of teaching creative writing with her ex MA student Rachel Genn, whose debut, The Cure, will come from Constable and Robinson in May.

Jane is a wonderful writer, and her new book, The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press), looks fantastic. It' s set in a near future when pregnant women are mysteriously dying, and concerns a 16-year-old girl who, against the will of her parents, sets out to make a stand. You can read the rave Sunday Independent review on Jane's website here.

It was a Central Library event, and took place in Eliot House on Deansgate (where the library has relocated during the refurbishments) with its elaborate ceilings and stained-glass windows. The debate that followed the readings was interesting, Jane (who is Professor of Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam) expressing the view, which I share, that you can teach grammar and structure and plot and character-building, but you can't teach a basic, and essential, feel for language.


Unknown said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for coming the other night. Hope you enjoyed. My book is called The Cure. Hope your mistake is not an omen........

Elizabeth Baines said...

Eek, I'm so sorry, Rachel. Complete typo! Duly changed.

It was a great evening, and all the very best with the book.