Author: pats.mcc@gmail.com

Interview: The Book that….

Magdalena McGuire - AuthorThe book I’m currently reading…

I’m reading – and loving – The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit. It’s about everything, really: reading and writing and love and family and death. The imaginative leaps she takes are just stunning. I’ve only recently discovered her writing and am blown away by her talent.

 

The book I think is most underrated…

I think that Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tender is a book that’s often overlooked by readers. Most people tend to go straight to The Great Gatsby. Personally, I prefer Tender is the Night. The writing is so sublimely beautiful that I could read it again and again.

 

The last book that made me laugh out loud…

Bark by Lorrie Moore. Her short stories always make me wish I were a funnier writer. Her humour is so cutting and destabilising. One minute she makes you laugh and the next minute she makes you feel like your chest is going to burst with sadness.

 

The last book that made me cry…

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. It’s such a beautiful portrait of friendship and marriage. I felt like I was right there with those characters for all of their adult lives and by the time the book came to an end, I was weeping.

 

The book I most often give as a gift…

It depends on what stage of life I’m at, and what stage of life my friends are at. Most recently I’ve been giving people copies of Cheryl Strayed’s book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. My god she’s good! In Strayed’s hands an advice column becomes pure poetry. Actually, now that I think about it, this is another book that makes me weep. It’s so tender and wise.

 

 The book I am most ashamed I didn’t finish…

Oh, there are so many! Midnight’s Children is one of them. Try as I might, I can’t get into Salman Rushdie.

 

The book I am most ashamed I’ve not read…

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. I once read that you know you’re middle aged when you finally admit to yourself that you’re never going to read Proust. However, I’m in denial and keep telling myself that one day, when life slows down, I’ll finally get to it.

 

The book I wish I’d written…

This would have to be the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante (which I really count as one book). It’s not often that you get a work of literary fiction that’s also a gripping page turner. I, very greedily, guzzled all four books in under a month. I need to re-read them so I can pick up the finer nuances that I inevitably missed the first time.

 

The book I’d give my 18-year-old self…

I’m not sure it’s been written, or if it has, maybe I just haven’t read it yet. It would be a feminist book with characters that made her laugh and showed her how to: take life less seriously, not worry about the acne because it will clear up, bypass the conventional legal career and do something more nourishing, have a grand adventure and accept that most things in life will turn out more or less okay. Oh, and it would be full of amazing vintage dresses, too.

 

Bristol Short Story Prize 2015

Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8

Third prize! My story Birthday Bones was awarded 3rd prize in the 2015 Bristol Short Story Prize. The Bristol Short Story Prize aims to publish great short stories and promote the stories and writers as much as possible. Discovering previously unpublished writers is central to its aims as well as being absolutely committed to celebrating the short story genre. Birthday Bones…

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Interview – The Short Story

Lost Boy and Other Stories

Your story, ‘Mojitos in Tehran’ in Lost Boy & Other stories struck me as one of the more original stories I’ve read in recent years… Read an interview with Margaret River Press about her highly commended short story ‘Mojitos in Tehran’ from the 2015 anthology ‘Lost Boy and Other Stories‘ – a collection of stories submitted…

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