Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An Extra Large Slice of Cheer

Something today to sweeten a bitch's whole outlook on the world:

In a comment on my post 'Big Slices of the Literary Tart' Susan Hill alerts us to that fact that 1,200 copies have now been sold of the first novel by Helen Slavin, The Extra Large Medium, recently published by Susan's press, Long Barn Books - when apparently 400 copies is normal for a first novel. On Monday I went out to buy it, and found it on a 3 for 2 offer in Waterstone's, which as far as I know is no mean feat for a small publisher. Yesterday I sat down to read it. I could not put it down. The dishes went unwashed, the writing I'm supposed to be doing went unwritten. I did not stop until I had finished, and when I looked up my eyes could no longer focus, literally, on the real world. This is some sassy book, written in a spare, witty and streetwise style, packed with word play, yet managing to tackle the serious issue of the nature of loss with the kind of interiority I value most in novels.

A small press, but an extra large, not medium achievement...
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