Sunday, February 15, 2009


Thank the elements for Amazon UK. I just found out they are selling Byatt's book a full five/six months before the US even publishes it. Needless to say, having been working on Byatt for the past four years, I am excited about this. I find myself counting down days and researching for the book's existence the way I re-watch movie previews to make sure I can remember the images of the film before it comes out. I remember watching the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix trailer about 28 times in the Morrison computer lab back in the day and pausing it every second so that I can get it frame by frame. What I am currently thrilled about is Byatt's new book, The Children's Book. Here is a little description from Amazon UK:

"Olive Wellwood is a famous writer, interviewed with her children gathered at her knee. For each of them she writes a separate private book, bound in different colours and placed on a shelf. In their rambling house near Romney Marsh they play in a story-book world - but their lives, and those of their rich cousins, children of a city stockbroker, and their friends, the son and daughter of a curator at the new Victoria and Albert Museum, are already inscribed with mystery. Each family carries its own secrets. Into their world comes a young stranger, a working-class boy from the potteries, drawn by the beauty of the Museum's treasures. And in midsummer a German puppeteer arrives, bringing dark dramas. The world seems full of promise but the calm is already rocked by political differences, by Fabian arguments about class and free love, by the idealism of anarchists from Russia and Germany. The sons rebel against their parents' plans; the girls dream of independent futures, becoming doctors or fighting for the vote. This vivid, rich and moving saga is played out against the great, rippling tides of the day, taking us from the Kent marshes to Paris and Munich and the trenches of the Somme. Born at the end of the Victorian era, growing up in the golden summers of Edwardian times, a whole generation grew up unaware of the darkness ahead. In their innocence, they were betrayed unintentionally by the adults who loved them. In a profound sense, this novel is indeed the children's book."

So, I am like so excited and can't wait. I hope you all think it sounds interesting and might be interested in reading it. I have found that Byatt is one of those under-appreciated contemporary authors that sometimes drifts into and out of the classroom. I hope that I can keep her alive through my syllabi and hopefully get others to read her too. In fact, this whole blog sort of stems from her concept of lamination that is in the Potter Quartet. Anyways, if you haven't read anything by her, put a book on your list. I would suggest starting with something like or Possession or Angels and Insects or The Djinn and the Nightingale's Eye.


Anonymous said...

Quite like the new Duncan Sheik record.

star said...

wow, ive never heard of that author at all but i am definitely going to pick up something now, that book description is amazing.

Anonymous said...

yes...very interesting! you can maybe share the book with me when you are don? or recommend something good to start with for someone who has never read any byatt before?