Friday, 6 February 2009


We had the honour of entertaining William Boyd for lunch yesterday, and a very pleasant and stimulating episode it turned out to be.  William has contributed a sparkling foreword to our edition of Incandesence, by Craig Nova.  All the Capuchin staff are particularly excited by this book, and hope it will help Craig achieve the increased recognition his literary brilliance deserves.  The foreword will be available to download from our website in due course, but here's a brief synopsis:

"Stargell had it all – a prestigious job at a think tank, a beautiful Greek wife and money enough to indulge his expensive tastes. Then one day he lost his job – for using the think tank’s computer to play the horses – and his life took a very definite turn for the worse. Suddenly he’s broke, his wife’s going crazy, and a very determined Lower East Side loan shark has his number."

The conversation over lunch ranged across many topics, the literary ones including the proposal that Ernest Hemingway's real genius lay in his short story writing and some interesting insights from William into the vexed question of men writing convincing female characters (we think he does, for the record).

However, the real revelation of the afternoon came when William was kind enough to slice a loaf of bread, and in doing so revealed an extraordinary ability to produce slices of uniform and ideal thickness with an elegant and enviable insouciance .  This leads me to wonder what non-writing talents are employed by other well-known literati. I know Philip Pullman is a keen carpenter, which seems appropriate given the beauty and craft of his novels, but it would be wonderful to discover some other activities that went against apparent type.  Do we know any macho thriller writers who are incurable flower-pressers?  Contributions welcome.

Quotation of the Day

"A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic".   George Bernard Shaw, author of the Capuchin Classic Cashel Byron's Profession.


No comments: