Wednesday, 28 January 2009

UEA Writing Fellows Book Reading

Last night I went to the UEA Writing Fellows book reading. It was free and it is my last semester as a student here, so thought I would take advantage. I dragged my friend Jess along too, since I didn't want to go alone and she is awesome. There were five writers reading from their various projects. The whole thing lasted just over an hour.

Joyce Dunbar read a children's book to us. It was very enjoyable, but a bit of a shame I couldn't quite see the pictures from where I was! The basic plot was about a monster who was constantly hungry (sounds familiar...) and ate all the darkness in the world. By the end he realised that love satiated his hunger. A metaphor for greed, apparently.

Stephen Foster read an extract from his memoir. I'm not a big fan of memoirs, and I think I was perhaps too young to connect to the period he was talking about.

Nam Le read an erotic extract from one of his short stories. He was a lot younger than I thought he would be, and his writing was tuned, original and exciting. He had a sense of confidence and modesty about him, which I really liked.

David Sornig read an extract from a novel he's working on. I think it was called 'Sunshine', but I can't quite remember. It was written very well, perhaps slightly over-written in places I thought, and the story was very gripping. I would definitely buy a copy of the novel once it's published. The only distracting aspect was that he was writing from the perspective of a thirteen year old girl, but still sounded like a middle-aged educated creative writer. The balance between authorial voice and narrator could have perhaps been more subtle if it was written in the third person. But who knows how different it will be once it is published.

The last writer to read was Henry Sutton. He captured the annoyances of real life very accurately, with a hint of dry humour. Not my kind of thing, but for what it was it was well done.

Afterwards Jess and I bought cookies from the union shop and sat in the pub with a cup of tea while everyone else got drunk around us.

Ahh, what a cultured evening.

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