Our building is open again now, so we can work as normal and the Macmillan New Fiction people can get on with reading Pundy’s manuscript, after having to reluctantly put it down mid-read on Monday morning when evacuated from their offices, they have been on tenterhooks all week to find out what happens in the end.
I have not been into the office today as I’ve been at Imperial College London hearing people talk about data webs. So tomorrow will be my first day back. Thank you all so much for your good wishes and kind comments, which are without exception very much appreciated.
I’m a bit wiped so will just mention that the interesting (I think) writer Carolyn Parkhurst has a new book out, called Lost and Found. Her first book was called Loreili’s Secret (but seems to also be called The Dogs of Babel, maybe a difference between the US and the UK). It is a story about a husband whose wife died in an incident witnessed only by her dog; the husband spends the book trying to find out what happened, the reader in the process gradually building up a picture of what his wife had really been like — very different than she first appeared. A very good, unusual read and a 90 per cent satisfactory resolution of the mystery.
Parkhurst’s new book seems to be somewhat different, about a team of contestants on a TV reality show which takes the form of a global scavenger hunt. There is an interesting Q/A interview with the author at Powell’s books (contains link to the book on the Amazon US site). And a good post about the new novel on MetaxuCafe (which doesn’t).
Here is an excerpt from the Powell’s books interview about the new book: "The novel follows several two-person teams — a mother and her teenage daughter, two middle-aged brothers, a pair of former child TV stars, and a married couple who met through a Christian "ex-gay" group. But even though reality TV provides the backdrop for the book, that’s not entirely what the novel is about; it’s also about the limits of intimacy and the destructive power of shame. Each character starts out with a secret, something that haunts them that they’d like to keep private, and each one finds that the trial of being on the show brings these things to the forefront in ways they hadn’t imagined. And each of them begins to wonder if they knew their partner as well as they thought they did."