Saturday, October 13, 2012

The light in the dark: Alison Moore's success with a 'bleak novel'.

There have been some interesting and instructive moments in the coverage of Alison Moore's Booker shortlisting for her excellent and memorable novel, The Lighthouse - a debut novel from one of three small independent publishers on the list, my own publisher, Salt.

In an interview with the Observer last week, Moore said, 'Somebody said that were it not for the Booker prize not many people would know about my novel, and that's not mean, it's quite true,' which tells you everything you need to know about press coverage of fiction in this country.

And in an interview on Radio 4's Today, she is asked about the novel's bleakness and is, in this era when most publishers and agents shy away from anything 'too dark', able to admit happily that the novel is bleak, and that that's how she writes. And I have read that her novel is one of the most popular and talked-about on the list...

3 comments:

Lisa Guidarini said...

I loved her book so much I read it twice, back to back. And I never do that. Then again, I love comes, deeply psychological books and find them more realistic that neatly tied up books. I interviewed Alison on my blog. Such a charming, kind woman.


Lisa Guidarini said...

Crap! Typo in previous comment! And a BAD one. I think I was trying to type dark. ARGH!

Hayley N. Jones said...

I loved it too - and was really disappointed in the comments about it on the BBC2 Book Review Show on Friday. AL Kennedy, in particular, criticised The Lighthouse for being predictable; but I thought the sense of inevitability was an intrinsic, thought-provoking element of the novel which provided much of the 'darkness' Irelished.

It's a very poetic novel and, like a poem, something to contemplate during and after reading. I don't subscribe to the idea that novels have to have plot twists and/or completely unpredicatble endings. For me, The Lighthouse is surprising in other, more pleasurable, ways and I like its circular plot.