Interview with Claire King

The View From Here Interview: Claire King

by Jen

Photo by Debbie Scanlan, Wolf James Photography

Claire King has lived in southern France for the last ten years and currently inhabits, in her own words, quite a shabby stone house in the middle of nowhere with her husband and two young daughters. She grew up in Mexborough, South Yorkshire. Having studied economics at Newnham College, Cambridge she then spent twenty years working in business. The Night Rainbow is her first acclaimed novel, and was launched on February 13th 2013 in the UK from Bloomsbury.
Claire has also written short fiction, which has been published online and in print and has been recognised by places such as BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines, New Scientist, The Bristol Short Story Prize, the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition and Metazen.


You attended University in Cambridge and mentioned in your blog, when ..”Virginia Woolf visited Newnham to give a talk to the students on ‘Women and Fiction’. She discussed the idea that, ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction’ and this talk was to become  ‘A Room of One’s Own’, an essay that has proved inspirational for many women writers ever since.”  Where do you write? 

Watering Heaven : A Review

Watering Heaven
By Peter Tieryas Liu
Published by Signal 8 Press
Reviewed by Jessica Patient

Peter Tieryas Liu’s Watering Heaven is a curious collection of stories, which merges reality with the fantastical.

Liu weaves Chinese folklore and magic realism through his stories and creates many stories which would entertain fans of Andrew Kaufman and Aimee Bender. In the opening story and probably my favourite story in the collection, Chronology of an Egg, a woman lays an egg each time she has sex. In Rodenticide, a film director becomes an anti-Pied Piper, leads the town’s rats to his home to protect them from extermination from the mayor and his re-election campaign.

In a world full of anxiety and detachment, the protagonists within each story are in search for the perfect relationship, job, philosophy for life. The characters aspire to do and to also be something greater but ultimately struggle to find perfection. There is a lot of humour and irony within these stories, which you need when searching to find the meaning of life.

Interview with Jane Harris

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Interview with Jane Harris
 by Jen 
(author photo by James Lipman)

I met Jane Harris briefly at the Steyning Festival in 2012. Since, her latest novel Gillespie and I has been shortlisted for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and The Independent on Sunday has chosen it as one of its paperbacks of the year. This is in addition to the vast array of awards and acclaim it has already received elsewhere. In March 2012 it was longlisted for The Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist in the Scottish Book Awards 2012.

Jane Harris (born 1961) is a British writer of fiction and screenplays. Her latest novel, Gillespie and I, was published to critical acclaim in the UK in May 2011 by Faber and Faber. Her first novel The Observations was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2007 and has been published in over 20 territories worldwide.

In France, The Observations was shortlisted for the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger (2009), and in the USA it won the Book of the Month Club’s First Fiction Prize (2007).
Waterstone’s, the UK bookstore chain, chose Jane as one of its 25 Authors for the Future. In 2007 she was also nominated for the British Book Awards Newcomer of the Year and for the Southbank Show/Times Breakthrough Award. In 2011, Richard and Judy chose The Observations as one of their 100 Books of the Decade. You can read more about Jane's experiences writing The Observations in an article written for Mslexia.

The Lost Men : A Review

The Lost Men
by David A. Colon
Publisher: Elsewhen Press
Reviewer : Grace Read

I read The Lost Men while I was pregnant. My pregnancy was a particularly vomit-y experience. I wrote this review in the first 3 months of parenthood, which was an equally vomit-y experience. So I fear that I may not have approached the story in my clearest mind, and therefore may not have appreciated it fully. Whatever impression I give you of The Lost Men, elevate it by about 3 notches to get a more accurate representation!

The Lost Men is an allegory about fate. It poses the question, to what degree are we in control of our destiny? and, more interestingly, what difference does it make when this question arises in the reality of family life instead of in the realm of philosophy? The Lost Men is thought provoking, if somewhat one-dimensional. It addresses complex ideas about destiny in a digestible form, but without much playfulness, seeming to take itself too seriously.