Thank you to novelist and Professor of creative writing Benardine Evaristo for inviting me to talk about my latest novel The Fountain in the Forest as part of the wonderful Brunel Writers Series 2019 at Brunel University London back at the beginning of the year, and for taking a few photos of the event. Bernardine is a great force for good and for writing, and her latest novel Girl, Woman, Other was published by Hamish Hamilton last week, and is getting rave reviews all round.
At Brunel I was in conversation with Nick Hubble (L), whose latest book The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question is now out in paperback from Edinburgh University Press. On the screen behind us is a detail of Guardian ‘Quick Crossword’ No. 4,652 from 7 March 1985, one of twenty-six crosswords from the 90-day period between the end of the Miners’ Strike and the Battle of the Beanfield on 1 June the same year, which provide the ‘mandated vocabulary’ that I used to write the novel. Find out more about The Fountain in the Forest’s use of an Oulipo-inspired ‘mandated vocabulary’ in Sukhdev Sandhu’s Guardian review of the novel here, or in this interview with Kevin Gopal of the Big Issue.