…which is what I was doing in the last post….
I was not intending to write again so soon, and I was certainly not intending to write on the same subject, but I have been reminded tonight about two glaring omissions from my list of book recommendations. I’m further ashamed because both reminders come courtesy of two big-hearted, generous spirits who never forget to offer thanks or give recognition.
Firstly, let me remind you, as if you needed reminding, of the remarkable talent of Favel Parrett. Her first novel, Past the Shallows, has been nominated for, or won, almost every major fiction award in the country this year. It reads like the work of a master. No-one says that it is wonderful “for a first book.” It is wonderful. Full stop. Wonder-full. Master-full. And yet it is also dark, fragile, terrifying. I cared so deeply for the characters, and felt so keenly the place they inhabited. To say more is to reach for a list of superlatives, all of which it deserves – but what it mostly deserves is to be read.
And not overlooked.
The second recommendation will come as no surprise I’m sure, but I received an email tonight quoting these lines:
You can have the other words – chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity.
I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.
It’s a fragment of Mary Oliver, of course. Grace and not knowing are two of her specialties. It made me think that I should remind you again to seek her out, but also it’s an opportunity for you to see her wonderful face.
I’ve an idea she and Favel would get along. They are both keen observers of the natural world, both are born poets, and both make writing appear effortless.
My thanks for the reminders.
And to those of you who have sent in recommendations, muchas gracias. I look forward to hours of pleasure in the company of new voices.
Oh, and one last thing…
I loaned my copy of Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety to someone. Any ideas? Also Michael Cunningham’s A Home At the End of the World has gone walkabout. Both go on the all-time list – when they come home!