Barry Gifford

"I ain't never heard so much concentrated weirdness in my life..." The return of Twin Peaks prompted a lot of excitement amongst some of my friends. One sent me a Spotify playlist dedicated to the music of David Lynch’s films, while I was persuaded by another to join him watching the original series and film, … Continue reading Barry Gifford

Pascal Garnier and The Ideal

'He left the room and shut the door behind him. No point saying goodbye to a dead man.' Pascal Garnier I recently picked up the novel How's The Pain?, by Pascal Garnier. You know what it's like. You go to a bookshop with a list of things to buy, but none of them feel right. You … Continue reading Pascal Garnier and The Ideal

Genre and the Edges

'In the evening, I'd pour myself a glass of very strong rum on the rocks, and I'd write hardboiled poems...' Pedro Juan Gutierrez I've spent my writing life on the periphery. It's not only a matter of success, or lack of, although that certainly plays its part. You stand watching the dance floor with your … Continue reading Genre and the Edges

Terminal Realism: Kathy Acker and William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard and Zadie Smith

'The writer's task is to invent reality.' J.G. Ballard. On a recent trip to Heathrow, I travelled along the Westway. It's been a few years since I headed out on that road, not since a friend of mine passed his driving test and we made a specific trip out west with Low by David Bowie … Continue reading Terminal Realism: Kathy Acker and William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard and Zadie Smith

The Compulsive Joy of the Series

Kurt Vonnegut, maybe. I bought the Dell edition novels when I lived in America. Like Vonnegut, I had been a smoker, and I would find a beguiling correlative between those small light paperback editions and a packet of cigarettes. I devoured those books in a single sitting. And maybe Philip K Dick too. I read his books with … Continue reading The Compulsive Joy of the Series

Mockingbird by Walter Tevis

'Don't ask; relax.' Every week I take a train journey of about two hours. Once, I would take this journey twice each day, and although it eventually became too large a bite out of my life, for a while I was able to lose myself in the time. I'd write on a small laptop— a … Continue reading Mockingbird by Walter Tevis