Tag Archives: Nick Coffer

Edna O’Brien

Standard

Last night I went to the London Review Bookshop to see one of the literary greats. Edna O’Brien is surely one of the best writers around, certainly one of my favourites. Her new book, The Little Red Chairs, which those of you who follow these things will know I discussed with Nick Coffer on the last radio broadcast, is an amazing novel. Inspired by the moving pictures of the 11,541 (643 were child size) red chairs set out in the High Street of Sarajevo in 2012 to commemorate the deaths of the people in the siege of Sarajevo 20 years previously, the book tells the story of a war criminal who arrives in a small Irish coastal town. His effect on the people is both powerful and tragic. The book follows the fortunes of one of those villagers as she moves to London and also visits the War Crimes tribunal in the Hague.

Little red chairs

It is very typical of Edna O’Brien that the prose is economical, lean and exactly tells the story, without ambiguity or fuss.

Edna was interviewed by Andrew O’Hagan, himself a Booker shortlisted writer (for his novel Our Fathers), and he did a great job, asking just the questions I wanted to ask. I loved the novel and I feel very privileged to have been at the event.

Advertisements

Latest radio book recommendations

Standard

I went to BBC Three Counties on Monday to discuss books with Nick Coffer.

I went to a Book Group last week and we had one of the longest discussions about a book we all enjoyed – Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. I have just been to another book group where we had an interesting discussion about Do No Harm by Henry Marsh. By contrast for another book group I plan to attend next week we are reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I just love the variety!