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We all have special places. Houses or rooms within houses that hold powerful memories: a secluded pub by a beautiful beach, the summit of a high mountain overlooking a Scottish loch, a garden, a forest, a railway platform where a proposal of marriage was made, a grave where the remains of a loved one are laid.The Sunday Times reviews the upcoming novel Sanctuary by Robert Edric:
The Yorkshire home of the Brontë family is one of my special places.
I love to stand in the hallway and imagine what it would be like to be in that very spot in the years long ago when Charlotte, Emily and Ann (sic) were producing their great writings, to hear father warning them not to stay up too late, as he turned to wind the long case clock half way up the stairs where you can tread today. The place is full of atmosphere, and I just soak it up.
Sanctuary, his latest novel, is set closer to home on the bleak moors of Edric’s own county. It is 1848, and the story is narrated by Branwell Brontë, the scapegrace brother of three soon-to-be famous novelists. Buffeted by his own literary failure and a disastrous love affair, Branwell has returned to Haworth Parsonage to live with his father and sisters. Miserable and self-pitying, he is descending into a morass of drink, debt and despair. Edric eschews a conventional plot in favour of vividly realised scenes that build up an extraordinary, poignant portrait of a man lurching towards self-destruction. (Nick Rennison)Alison Thompson also in The Times's Hearing is Believing discusses Staying On by Paul Scott:
At 18, I’d read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina and Lace. I knew all about unrequited love, doomed love and a bit about sex with a goldfish thanks to Shirley Conran. But there was nothing on what happened next. Every book stopped with: “Reader, I married him”, or a tragic death. The rest of life was obviously irrelevant.The Boston Globe interviews the writer and theatre critic Hilton Als,
BOOKS: Do you have a favorite biography? (Amy Sutherland)Hull Daily Mail discusses reason why Hull is better (ahem) than Paris:
ALS: I think Gerald Clarke’s biography of Truman Capote is amazing. I like really old biographies, such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë. Quentin Bell’s biography of his aunt Virginia Woolf has enough sensibility to keep you amused but not enough to make you feel bad about your own writing. Michael Holroyd’s biography of Lytton Strachey is amazing in terms of describing these minor figures in a big world.
The Hindu quotes the writer Dan Brown saying:
“I wrote a lot as a kid. I studied writing. I enjoyed writing, but I thought I would be a musician. I wrote music too. I played the piano but, after a decade as a starving musician, I took to writing novels. I had read all the classics like Shakespeare, Brontë and others. But I did not know about the popular genre. Then I happened to read Sydney Sheldon on the beach, and found it fast and racy. I thought, well, I could do it.” (Ziya Us Salam)The Hamilton Spectator discusses reading nowadays:
There are depressing stories about celebrated, award-winning authors who lament slow sales and allegedly can't make a living from writing.Asbury Park Press talks about some Vincent Price films. Particularly Roger Corman's adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe The Tomb of Ligeia:
Yet there are other stories about stay-at-home moms who become millionaire self-published authors.
There are, indeed, too many readers who have missed the joys of reading Melville or Brontë or Faulkner.
And there are all those children — and adults — who were introduced to the joys of reading Rowling, people who might never have picked up a book were it not for "Harry Potter."
I suspect humanity is reading — and writing — more than ever before. (Paul Berton)
The story owes a big debt to literary giants beyond Poe (Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” can be particularly sensed between the lines) and Price has a fine sparring partner in Elizabeth Shepherd. It’s a genuinely unsettling dive into the demons of memory and manipulation. (Alex Biese)Fantasymundo (Spain) interviews the writer Raquel García Estruch:
Carmen Jimeno: ¿Y como escritora?We-News (in Italian) reviews Wuthering Heights; Shelf Love and Hopelessy Devote Bibliophile review Mallory Ortberg's Texts from Jane Eyre.
Raquel García Estruch: Como escritora he aprendido mucho de autores de otros géneros literarios. En los que a mi género respecta empecé en mi adolescencia con las novelas de Jean Austen y Victoria Holt. Adoraba aquellas historias que se desarrollaban en mansiones victorianas, en una época en el que el destino de las mujeres no era otro que el de casarse con alguien de buena posición y tener hijos. Después descubrí a las hermanas Brontë, me enamoré de Stendhal, de Dickens, de Oscar Wilde. Después Nora Roberts y Rosemunde Pilcher han sido una auténtica inspiración para mí. He leído sus libros tantas veces que puedo repetir de memoria páginas enteras. (Translation)