Monday, 28 July 2014

Summer reading

What books will you be reading this summer? Words And Women organizers, Lynne and Bel, would like to offer some suggestions from the books they’ve been reading recently. Of course, Words And Women One, our great anthology published by Unthank Books, is a must but why not one or all of the following…?

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, published by Vintage. 
A dazzling, panoramic novel about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships. The novel follows the fortunes of six teenagers who meet at a summer camp for the arts the year that Nixon resigns. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. This is a brilliant study of character, ambition, class and friendship.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer, published by Vintage. 
Written nearly ten years ago it has less scope than The Interestings but is nevertheless a supremely funny novel about literary greatness, self-deception and sexual politics. The voice is wonderfully acerbic.

Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine, published by Faber. 
Viv Albertine played guitar in The Slits, one of the great girl punk bands of the 70s. Plenty of gossip, plenty of atmosphere, plenty of gritty period detail but what makes this autobiography special is Albertine’s frankness about sex and about what happens to her after The Slits break up. This is about tenacity and the will to create and be true to oneself.

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee, published by Chatto and Windus. 
Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-2000) was a great English writer. Her novels were short, spare masterpieces, self-concealing, oblique and subtle. She won the Booker Prize for her novel Offshore in 1979, and her last work, The Blue Flower, was acclaimed as a work of genius. Hermione Lee has done a superb job, capturing the novelist's elusive personality and telling a complex, sometimes harrowing story. Fitzgerald didn’t started writing seriously until after her husband’s death. She was 60 and though she’d achieved a first at Oxford had spent many years living in penury with her family. So hungry was she that sometimes her children found her eating blackboard chalk. This too is a book about tenacity and the will to create.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Art, Gardens And Words on film

Here is a wonderful short film by Moyses Gomez of our garden festival which took place at The Plantation Gardens, Earlham Road, Norwich on May 24th. See and hear our performers, artists and writers, and watch the day move from showers to sunshine. With many thanks to Moyses, and to everybody who made the day so special.