Friday, April 11, 2008

This is an entry about what writers, mainly fiction writers, do when they create the world their book takes place in.

They do not, necessarily, present the reader with the world as they already know it. They usually have some idea of the dangerous places their fiction is taking them. Not all stories are ones with happy endings.

I'm writing this since another person has told me they could not read past the beginning of Feather Man. The first one was the person who was judging the Waterstone's New Voices, which Feather Man was short listed for. In both cases, because the book opens with a young girl being persuaded into a sexual act by an older man (who does not actually go as far as he could - guys, this is blog, open to all readers, so I will not be more specific here), they stopped reading. Yes, it is unpleasant, but then books are supposed to open up worlds beyond the readers experience.

So, when we publish books by Turkish writers, we expect readers to read about djinns and spirits as if they were quite normal, as they are in Turkish culture. When Hubert Selby Jr tells of the life of a prostitute, in Last Exit to Brooklyn, we do not pre judge.

So, please, please, read past page 12 of Feather Man and find out why Rhyll has won a major prize in Australia, and had the most wonderful reviews. Discover how a young girl, who men mistreat, actually manages to get her own back. And how she may or may not have achieved the impossible - managing to stand on her own two feet.

1 comment:

LG said...

I'm reading Feather Man at the moment and I've been raving about it. Beautifully written, interesting characters and totally compelling. I'm astonished that people are putting it down after the first chapter.