the m john harrison blog

Month: September, 2017

expressionist theatricals

That’s going to be the puzzle, of course: who loved the dead man and who didn’t? And who was Gricey, anyway? The last part he played was Malvolio, that “victim of small minds. Driven half mad and shut up in a dark room.” In her grief, his widow begins first to wear his clothes, then re-tailor them for Frank Stone, the young understudy who perfectly imitates Gricey as the puritanical narcissist of Twelfth Night; and who, attracted to the widow, takes on the dead man’s part in other ways too. To these stories – the doomed romance and the tale of possession by dybbuk – is soon added a third: we’re ushered into the milieu of street politics, antisemitism and continuity-fascism in London after the war. —My review of Patrick McGrath’s The Wardrobe Mistress, up at the Guardian today.

Advertisements

update: you should come with me now

YSCWMN is now in galleys, ready to be pimped up for concourse d’elegance day, which will be sometime at the beginning of October. It’s a strange bit of work, short fiction wrapped in shorter fictions, developing all the usual themes, for instance grimness, grimness and grimness. I wouldn’t call it a collection if I could think of a name for something with dimension-&-a-half between a collection and a novel. I mean: it’s a book. So we have some readings and bookshop events arranged–including a conversation at Housmans in London with Lara Pawson, shortlisted for this year’s Gordon Burn Prize for her extraordinary anti-memoir This Is The Place To Be–who in her other career interviewed weirder & more interesting people than me. Readings will include an evening at Warwick U, an institution which kindly adopted me a year or so ago, with perhaps a visit from a known Tsar of the Weird. Meanwhile I’m looking forward to the cover draft, and cover copy that will feature quotes from real writers Will Eaves, Olivia Laing and Rob Macfarlane, endorsements so persuasive that I would buy the book myself if I didn’t already know what was in it. Updates here, at Comma Press & on Twitter, @mjohnharrison, @commapress.