Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Crane Wife

I've written before about Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, one of Bath's two splendid independent bookshops. They host wonderful author events (the last one I went to was with China Mieville, which I blogged here )

On Tuesday night, they were hosting the Patrick Ness, to celebrate the publication of his new novel, The Crane Wife. I missed Patrick when he visited for the publication of 'A Monster Calls', so I was particularly pleased to be able to get tickets this time!

And to meet some old friends and acquaintances - I knew that Cheryl was going to be there, what with our having bought the tickets together, and it was nice also to see Tamzin, (although my terrible face recognition skills meant I was confused for a moment, there)

As usual, the evening began with music from The Bookshop Band - with two new (and only just completed) songs inspired by the book. They were wonderful.
Patrick Ness

We then had the interview with Patrick, who apparently wrote the book at the same time as writing a new teen novel, (and has vowed never to do that again). The novel is inspired by a Japanese folk tale of the same name, which Patrick learned while a child in Hawaii. It's not one I am familiar with, but he made the point that, unlike most fairy tales / folk tales, it begins with an act of kindness, not an act of cruelty, so he was interested to explore the ideas of how a kind man would react to / deal with his  desires.

The interview also covered other points - the fact that people are complicated ("People are Legion") and don't conform to simple stereotypes; one of the reasons why Patrick rarely writes out-and-out villains, the need to write from the heart - drawing on real emotions.

He read us a bit of the new book (with a few interpolated comments - "I said 'penis' to a room full of people') then there were some questions, followed by delicious food from Made by Ben, and mingling, then further questions, and book recommendations, from Patrick, and the bookshop staff, and guests. Recommendations included Cat Valente's books,(the 'Fairyland ones, pluis Six-Gun Snow White,  WildwoodThe Armed GardenShadows on the Moon ,and the Cannongate Myths series.

Then the evening ended with Patrick signing copies of the Crane Wife and others of his books, with, inevitably, more conversation. A thoroughly fun evening.

No comments: