Monday, 3 February 2020


HOW TO SAY THAT YOU HAVE HIT ROCK BOTTOM.





Two books, published a generation apart, and two ways of saying that you have hit rock-bottom.



Andrzej Szczypiorski, The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman (1988):

It seemed to her sometimes, to her own surprise, that she had within herself a strange instrument that somehow resonated improperly, like a cracked fiddle…She was an old lonely Jewish woman on the streets of Paris, for whom the thought of Poland was like a wad in her throat, like a gag. She told herself sometimes: I am unfair…But why should I be fair? People have a right to be unfair when God afflicts them with misfortune.



Halle Butler, The New Me (2019)

One sign that she has is down and out:

She no longer enjoys being with her best friend. I’m finding it hard to conjure social excitement…I think, Oh whatever, as loud as I can, three times, and shake my head and shoulders.

Another sign:

She is watching old movies. There was no room for new information in her mind…She didn’t’ laugh at a joke in the movie, even though she acknowledged that it was conceptually funny.

The ultimate sign:

Her mother no longer asks her to phone home. She doesn’t exactly hang up on her, but she tells me that that’s kind of enough for her tonight, and I silently commend her for her honesty.

Friday, 31 January 2020

THE COVER AND THE REAL THING


The cover of  my novel The Effects of Isolation on the Brain was taken from a painting by Graham Lute.  Below a copy of my novel and the real thing!