Signing copies of my new novel, Underneath, for a couple of acquaintances recently, I was interested (especially given my recent post on the unconscious and hallucinations) when both said they heard a voice when reading a novel to themselves. Because they know me, and I have a distinctive voice (and not necessarily in a good way), I wondered if they thought they’d hear my voice when reading my novel (even if it is narrated by a man), as has been reported before (I didn’t ask just because I’m a narcissist). But no, one said she hears her own voice, the other a voice specific to the story she’s reading. I wonder what that’s all about.
Let me introduce you to two debut novels about young men forced out of their retreat from life by a determined young woman. Both feel responsible for the deaths of a younger sister, both have absent fathers and serious mental health issues induced by trauma. Both are about to get a rude awakening. But, as you’ll see, the authors have dealt with these bare bones in very different ways.
Each of these novels provides a behind-the-scenes perspective on tourism, the first raging at the inequalities, the second poking gentle humour at those who mediate between traveller and native. Having anticipated some of the themes in a recent 99-word story composed before I read either, both, while very different from each other, are definitely my kind of book.
It’s my pleasure to introduce two recently published short novels about westward migration. The historical perspective of the first, driven by the aftermath of the Second World War, and the allegorical style of the second, with a contemporary and/or future orientation, shine a hopeful light on a phenomenon currently depressingly exploited by right-wing politicians. These novels remind us that no society is ever static and, wherever we are positioned on the immigration issue, humans and the communities we build are highly adaptive.
Annecdotal is where real life brushes up against the fictional.
Annecdotist is the blogging persona of Anne Goodwin:
slug-slayer, tramper of moors,
author of two novels.
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