You can read the start of Quarantine here.
You can read the start of Quarantine here.
You can hear me on the BBC Radio Scotland Afternoon Show talking about Quarantine.
Segment starts at 1.10.21.
One epigraph for a novel is plenty – and perhaps already too much – but in an attempt to have it both ways, here are some of the big-eyed darlings I had to drown for the new book. First is a quote from Walter Benjamin’s essay on Proust.
From Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart (tr. Alison Entrekin)
And Goethe’s poem ‘Above the mountaintops’
I wrote about staring out the window for the Royal Literary Fund.
I’ll be launching my new novel Quarantine at Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh on May 5th. Tickets available here.
I reviewed Di Benedetto’s reissued novel for the TLS.
I have a new story at Lunate called ‘Open’.
I picked 3 short fictions for Banshee magazine, all of them challenging, interesting pieces. Lots of other good picks on the list to investigate.
I wrote about Ai Wei Wei’s memoir for Literary Review. Inexplicably, the review makes no mention of this incident:
I wrote aout Yan Lianke’s newly translated (but old) novel for the Times Literary Supplement. Mao gets the best line in the piece:
My second novel will be out from Swift Press next year – you can pre-order here.
I have a story in the new issue of Banshee about the joys of tenement living. You can preorder here.
My piece on Orville Schell’s novel is in the latest TLS.
I wrote about Moscow’s Stalinist skyscrapers for the Financial Times.
Thanks to Aleksandra Kos for an interesting piece which argues that the book explores ‘the experience of embodiment and how this shapes social relations’.
I have a new story on the Short Fiction website about being scared to go outside on a hot day. So not topical at all.
I wrote about the delights of literary ‘success’ for the Royal Literary Fund.
I went on Swedish radio to talk about Xinjiang and other small questions like the future of China. Listen here
Thanks to Creative Scotland for awarding me a grant to work on my next novel, which if you squint at, or close one eye, you could call a love story.
There’s a review of The False River in The Herald newspaper today.
‘The False River
The Willesden Herald Short Story Prize might not sound glitzy, but it allows Nick Holdstock’s story “Ward” (in which a teenage girl’s cancer diagnosis changes the course of her life) to be described as award-winning, which feels deserved. And judging by the quality of these stories, it won’t be his last accolade. Short story collections are often front-loaded with the best work, but The False River actually becomes more compelling as it goes along. His ease with dark and transgressive themes (animal-lovers should skip past “The Ballad of Poor Lucy Miller”) brings to mind a young Ian McEwan, but Holdstock is a multi-faceted writer who often seems to be urging his stories to break free of the frames surrounding them and even alters one character mid-story because he doesn’t like the direction it’s going. But mostly this accomplished collection is driven by a burning curiosity about the psychological states of its characters, and it should put him firmly on the literary map.
The start of ‘And Then’, a story from The False River, appears in today’s Scotsman newspaper.
The False River is out now.
With thanks to the publications in which some of this work first appeared – especially the Manchester Review, the Southern Review, and the Willesden Herald. I’m also grateful to editors like Emily Nemens (formerly of the Southern Review, now Paris Review Fiction Editor), Tom Vowler, and especially the late Jeanne Leiby, who was my first editor at the Southern Review, and offered me encouragement at a crucial time.
Thanks to Tom Vowler for a fun interview now posted on the Unthank Blog. Glad to say peacocks get a mention.
Out September 26th. Pre-order here.
I wrote about editing for the Royal Literary Fund website.
Thanks to Amy Hawkins for a thorough, perceptive review of my book (alongside two others) in the TLS.
“It is always refreshing to read anything on China that takes the focus away from Beijing and Shanghai … Holdstock is at his best when detailing China’s rural to urban transformation.”
I thought it was time to write a story that heavily features a goose.
My story, UCHANGE, is in the new issue of Banshee.
I wrote about the disappearance of Rahile Dawut (pictured holding the camera), and hundreds of thousands of other people in Xinjiang, for the LRB Blog.