mercredi 25 mars 2015

Pontas and The Tide That Took The Sea

Thanks to the Pontas team and Jessica Craig for this great piece in their newsletter about my novel The Tide That Took The Sea.

Schwitters, Vorticism and found language


       Once upon a time, in another life, I wrote an MA dissertation on Vorticism, which is held in the  elegant Tate Modern library, where I carried out part of my research. I have always been drawn like a bee to honey by the avant-garde artistic movements from the début du siècle. Dadaism holds a special, undone, ripped up and shuffled place in my heart. This week, I was flipping through the pages of Coutts-Smith book about this anarchic and nihilistic movement which took place between 1916 and 1923. Reading, I came across the German artist Kurt Schwitters, renowned for his opening up of art, its materials, subject matters, ideas of aesthetic. In this assemblage vision the debris of contemporary society: the broken, the abandoned, the useless and the over-looked, are re-presented, transformed and transcended. 
               Schwitters extends this practice to language, travels for hours on trains, circling the city, listening to snatches of conversation, chatter and gossip, lyrics and songs. Overheard fragments are collaged together, language re-found. I have been mulling this idea around in the back of my head, the idea of finding language, words and stories, over, under and around the page. Outside and inside. And, also the idea of reclaiming the discarded and the lost.

vendredi 20 mars 2015

L'hôpital Le Dessous des Cartes

L'Hôpital Le Dessous des Cartes, hit French bookshops last week. I co-wrote this French roman, a semi-fictional, semi-academic dramatic exploration of the dilemmas facing contemporary French hospitals. 

You can read more about the book here

mercredi 4 mars 2015

Visual Verse : A Feast of Tongues

So happy to be back contributing Visual Verse. You can read my piece A Feast of Tongues here. Aunt Dorothea is writing once again about grief, donkeys and swimming pools!  I was inspired by the Raymond Carveresque photo by Dominic Goodman and a recent venture into Marina Warner's Signs and Wonders. I came across her years ago when she gave the Reith Lectures Managing MonstersIn  A Feast of Tongues, I was thinking about Aesop, fables and all that they can be.

In other news (in between sick children, non-writing work and the shenanigans of everyday life) I am back writing my detective books. So will dip into Raymond Chandler, San Antonio, Fred Vargas and maybe some George Perec (the latter for something unpredictable and wild). 

lundi 16 février 2015

Vargas: The Chalk Circle Man

I am re-reading The Chalk Circle Man, a Fred Vargas detective novel, featuring the enigmatic police chief Adamsberg, renown for his Zen methods for solving crimes. The Chalk Circle Man - like all Vargas books - is dotted with eccentric characters, an oceanographic alcoholic scientist ( who stalks people in her spare time), an love-sick beret-wearing old lady with crocodile teeth and a beautiful, but very mean blind man. To be read.


In the past couple of months, I have fallen out of this blog, writing consuming my days and nights, at the back of my mind, a constant, parallel tick that - as I work, wash and drive my car - is trying to rewrite that paragraph, solve the plot twist, hack away at what must go. I have been in two places at once, here and there, in the world of work, family, friends and then inside this cave, right deep down, where something entirely different is happening. In the cave, time runs with multiple clocks and logic is utterly unreasonable; it's more about feeling your way in the dark, slicing through words with a delicate sword.

vendredi 5 décembre 2014


I am thrilled to say that the brilliant Jessica Craig at the very excellent Pontas Agency in Barcelona is going to represent me for my novel and detective books. I am very happy.

You can read about them here.