Sunday, January 27, 2008

Janice Galloway is in my top three (and my teeny part in her success!)

Who is the best? Your favourite? Top ten? Blah blah. Of course it's silly, there's room for more than ten, one should be 'allowed' to pick however many one likes...but it's a game we play. From best friends to favourite bands we pick and choose, and shuffle, add and subtract from our internal lists.

Who is your favourite writer?

Argh.

I have several that always make my own 'authors that I love/admire/respect' internal list, and one of them is Janice Galloway. If I am ever asked to pick one novel from the many I have read to recommend then I will choose 'The trick is to keep breathing'.

It's a wonderful book describing a woman's grief and unravelling life. It feels familiar and yet illuminates with such precision that it astonishes me. It melds wit with empathy and employs trailing sentences and playful typography that all work towards the creation of a very 'real' character in Joy (ho ho).

Galloway's short stories similarly shine truth on our lives, and I marvel constantly at how skilled she is at picking the exact right words.

And in my bookshop I couldn't recommend her because we didn't stock her. (Please note past tense! )

I can't imagine why she wasn't stocked because to me she is one of the most important writers alive. As a trying/aspirational/daring to go for the dream/ writer myself it is frustrating to think that one may be as gloriously talented as Janice Galloway, and still not get sales and support. What hope is there for the rest of us?

I ordered in a few copies of her short story collection 'Where you find it' for my short story display. I wrote a review for it, saying 'You should buy this book and discover her talent for yourself', and people have. It's thrilling, we have reordered a couple of times now, and I'm talking about 12 copies in total, not hundreds or thousands, nothing that's of any consequence. Still, they are copies that wouldn't have sold otherwise, so in a teeny tiny way I am doing a little something to promote her work. I have ordered in copies of 'The trick is to keep breathing' too.

It makes me smile to know that people have read my recommendation and given a book a go, and it's a good feeling knowing that a brilliant author is being discovered by people who may not otherwise have come across her.

5 comments:

Vanessa G said...

That's fabulous news. I hope she sees this. Good on you, and good for Waterstones Brighton for giving you the green light

Vx

Jim Murdoch said...

It's a book I enjoyed very much too and one I have no problem recommending. Did you know it was adapted as a stage play a few years back with three actresses playing aspects of the lead? At the time I'd not read the book so let it slip by and I've always regretted missing it.

Have a look here.

Sara said...

Wow Jim, that sounds amazing. I hadn't realised that it had been adapted, and really couldn't see how it could, but having read the blurb (thanks for the link) it sounds as if it worked brilliantly.

Capulet said...

Hi there,
I read one of your stories over at The Pygmy Giant and followed the link to your blog. Interesting stuff. I really like what you have to say. I hope you don't mind if I link to you from my own blog :)

I'm always on the look-out for recommendations, so I'll be sure to check out this book.

Oh hey, you know Venessa too! Hehe, it's a small world! *waves to Venessa* (whisper... isn't she inspiring?)

Sara said...

Hello capulet,

I don't actually have a story at Pygmy Giant, only the story that I 'bought' from Chris Killen for a bag of hula hoops! But it is lovely to see you here, and I'm jolly glad if you like anything that I have to say!

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