Online UK/NZ Reading Wednesday 24 Feb 2021

This event was recorded:

Watch it here
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or watch 2-minute teaser

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Video editor Sarah D.

Authors Mia Farlane and Anne Goodwin in conversation

Wednesday 24 February at 7pm-7.40pm (GMT)

It is our pleasure to invite you to join two authors discussing and reading from their debut novels:
Anne Goodwin, author of Sugar and Snails (Inspired Quill, Polari Prize short-listed), and Mia Farlane author of Footnotes to Sex (Viking/Penguin).

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Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize.

Sugar and Snails:

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

Throughout February, subscribers to her author newsletter can read Sugar and Snails for free: https://www.subscribepage.com/sugar-and-snails-free-e-book

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Mia Farlane’s debut novel, Footnotes to Sex (Viking/Penguin), a tragi-comedy about not knowing what to do with your life, fandom & a flailing relationship, is described by Sarah Waters as ‘wonderfully impressive, subtle, smart and very funny’ and by Bidisha as ‘Seinfeld meets Dorothy Parker’.

Footnotes to Sex is set in two of Farlane’s favourite cities, London and Paris.  It is about a couple, May and Jansen, in a long-term relationship, and May’s attempts to start a PhD on Francine Brion, a French intellectual she admires.  Footnotes to Sex was praised in The Observer for its ‘keen emotional intelligence.’

Footnotes to Sex (Penguin) is available on Kindle and in paperback.
 

Carole Fives : Térébenthine (Gallimard, 2020)

Térébenthine (Gallimard, 2020)
Carole Fives 

 

“You might have made a few successful paintings, out of pure luck, but that will perhaps never happen again.  Nothing’s certain.  Every time you start afresh.”

 

Térébenthine (Turpentine – what a clever title) is about three art students, Luc, Lucie and ‘you’, who specialise in painting (an art form that became unfashionable in France in the late 1990s) and the reason for the trio’s nickname: ‘Turpentine’. 

The trigger for this novel, Carole Fives’s fifth book, was the suicide in 2017 of a Fine Arts teacher.  But as Fives wrote Térébenthine the novel’s focus became more centred on the three students, and on what it is to be a Beaux-Arts student.
 
One of the novel’s themes is the issue of ‘invisibilisation’ and the importance of seeing oneself represented in the university curriculum.  In one (highly filmic) scene, Lucie and ‘you’ give a lecture that challenges the lack of role models for women in the university curriculum.  

Another theme is that of finding one’s vocation – ‘you’ will eventually realise that painting is perhaps not her path.  

Térébenthine would appeal to any artist, be they a painter, sculptor, musician, or writer – anyone following, or wanting to follow, their dream in fact.

 

 

« Tu as pu réussir quelques toiles, un coup de chance, mais ça ne se reproduira peut-être jamais.  Rien n’est gagné.  Tout se rejoue à chaque fois. »

 

Dans Térébenthine (quel titre malin), il s’agit de trois étudiants aux Beaux-Arts de Lille – Luc, Lucie et ‘toi’ – dont la filière choisie est la peinture, une forme d’art devenue démodée en France vers la fin des années ‘90.  D’où le surnom qu’on leur donne : « Térébenthine ». 

L’un des déclencheurs pour ce roman de Carole Fives, son cinquième, était au départ le suicide en 2017 d’un professeur d’art plastique des Beaux-Arts.  Mais au fur et à mesure de l’écriture le focus du livre est devenu plus centré sur les trois étudiants, et sur la vie d’étudiant.e aux Beaux-Arts.
 
L’un des thèmes du roman est la question de l’invisibilisation, et l’importance de se voir représenté.e dans le cursus universitaire.  Dans une scène (très cinématographique), Lucie et ‘toi’ donnent un cours sur les artistes femmes, véritable pied-de-nez face à leur absence dans la formation. 

Un autre thème abordé est celui de la recherche de sa vocation – le personnage désigné comme ‘toi’ se rendra enfin compte que la peinture n’est peut-être pas son vrai destin.  

À part les futur.e.s ou ex étudiant.e.s, Térébenthine intéressera surtout, je crois, les artistes, qu’ils ou elles soient peintres, sculpteur.ice.s, musicien.ne.s ou écrivain.e.s  – toute personne qui suit, ou qui cherche à suivre, son rêve, en fait.

 

      Térébenthine de Carole Fives 1 - Reader : Mia Farlane
      Térébenthine de Carole Fives 2 - Reader : Mia Farlane
      Térébenthine de Carole Fives 3 - Reader : Mia Farlane
      Térébenthine de Carole Fives 4 - Reader : Mia Farlane
      Térébenthine de Carole Fives 5 - Reader : Mia Farlane