Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lunch with New Publishers

Just back from London where I had a gorgeous lunch with my new publishers. Here's a pic which the Managing Editor took for me with her i-thing. There were four of us altogether and we chatted for ages. It was so like the old days, when editors weren't stressed out of their brains and afraid for their jobs (I did mention that my NY editor got fired last year and was replaced by a ditz from Disney, didn't I?). We talked about books and films and art and life, rather than profit margins, sales, markets, mass retail etc A publisher that doesn't function on fear! Once I name them you'll understand how this is possible in the global recession, but I can't say until the contracts are signed. However, when it's all done and dusted we are talking publication in print and e by October of this year. HURRAH. Watch this space for further announcements.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anna Karenina

This is an absolutely gorgeous film.Of course I'm biased. Kiera Knightly is my favourite actress and Joe Wright is one of my favourite film directors. The fantastic script by Tom Stoppard, the acting, the costumes, the music, the choreography, the play on theatre and opera, the breathtaking scenes - all of it: stunning. A masterpiece. Wright is such an interesting film-maker. He can re-make a classic while keeping its heart and soul completely intact. And he has sent me back to the book which I haven't read since I was a teenager. At that time I went through the Russian greats to prove myself an intellectual and have to admit I didn't enjoy them. Now I'm savouring Anna Karenina, thrilled that it's a big fat book that will last for ages; amazed  to discover that it isn't turgid and boring (my youth? the translation?) but beautifully written, lyrical, modern in sensibility, moving, compelling ... a joy to read.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Cloud Atlas

I'm rarely au fait with the latest literary sensation and tend to discover wonderful works long after everyone else has, but better late than never! Was alerted to this 2004 Booker contender - who the hell beat him?! - by its film trailer which was run before The Hobbit (more about that anon). I knew immediately I had to see the film and then I realised it was originally a book. Mirabile dictu. Off to the library and had it read in two days (would have been one but Finn was home and her thesis had to be proof-read. Omigod, I barely grasped what it was about - she's an Earth and Ocean scientist - but I was a great help with the syntax). Could hardly believe the writer is a young man and this is only his third work. Will be getting the others pronto. Apparently he lives in Ireland though he's English. I doubt it's for the tax haven as artists are only left unscathed up to €40,000 and he's definitely made more with film rights alone. Anyhoo, it's one of those curl-up-on-the-sofa-all-day- or lie-awake-all-night-in-your-bed-because-you-can't-put-it-down sort of books. Delicious stories. Brilliant characters. Nail-biting moments. Exquisite writing. My only quibble: though the pearly string of the universe (yes that is an allusion to string theory) is beautifully drawn, the necklace itself - ultimate Reality - and the neck upon which it is hung - the One! the One! - is left unwritten. Well, he's young and probably doesn't believe in answers, only questions.