In her comment on yesterday's post, Liz F mentioned Alan Garner; for anyone not already aware of this, his next novel Boneland - the conclusion to the story which began with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - is to be published in late August. There's more on it here.
Frank Delaney, whose latest novel The Last Storyteller is just out, has given hearty endorsement to the book blogging community in this interview: "The Literary Bloggers have no axes to grind, they're not protecting their reputations, they don't fear being sneered at by other critics, they're reading what they want to read, writing what they want to write, and they don't want to keep what they enjoy to themselves. They want to share. They want to expand the constituency of reading. They want to hail and applaud good writing. To my mind this is a very significant development – uneven, I grant, here and there, but, dammit, not as uneven as the generations of formal literary critics, and the blogging intention is so good and so worthy of loud vocal support that you can call it truly a new and, to my mind, incomparably welcome development in the world of reading and writing." Well said, Frank!
On the writing side, budding young writers of historical fiction may like to enter the Chalke Valley History Prize which was launched in London yesterday. Click here for all the details including age groups, rules and prizes.
And finally, another snippet from The Pleasure of Reading, this time the poet Wendy Cope on a classic: "Molesworth is another touchstone. Nobody who fails to respond to his wit can really be on my wavelength. I first came across Down With Skool! when I was eleven. 'It looks like a boys' book,' said my mother. 'Are you sure you want it?'. Though it was Ronald Searle's illustrations that caught my eye in the bookshop, the text, by Geoffrey Willans, proved just as wonderful. Nowadays I like the literary theory best: 'Poetry is sissy stuff that rhymes. Weedy people say la and fie and swoon when they see a bunch of daffodils.'"