Monday, March 14, 2011

A Man of Parts (Some More Active Than Others). . .

I'm currently reading and enjoying a galley of David Lodge's new novel A Man of Parts which will be available in Canada in May.  It's a fictionalized account of the life of H.G. Wells, told mostly through his relationships with the women in his life, many of whom were writers, including the amazing Rebecca West, the modernist Dorothy Richardson, Violet Hunt (who famously had a long relationship with Ford Maddox Ford and appears as a character in two of his most celebrated novels) and Elizabeth von Arnim who wrote one of my favourite NYRB Classics, The Enchanted April.  Gotta love these incestuous literary circles.

Lodge has a great piece in The Guardian, talking about how and why he wrote this novel, the difficulties of writing fiction about real historical characters, and the connections that can be made to another of my favorite books about this period - A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book.  Well worth reading.  I think I'll have to dig out some H.G. Wells too. Orion is bringing out some of his backlist - in these great new covers; who says that print (or newsprint) is dead?

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