Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sand and my mother-in-law

Elizabeth Baines describes the 'triumph' of having her sister praise her novel, Too Many Magpies (which by all accounts is excellent – just bought my copy two seconds ago*).

It's funny – all writers know that their family's opinion of their books is invalid; whatever the family member says, the personal relationship obscures the writer–reader relationship. Yet I understand Elizabeth's feelings: there are certain family members whose reaction to The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street I am rather nervous of. In the last few days my mother-in-law has been one of several people to say they like 'Sand', the opening poem in the book; and I'm pleased, more so perhaps than if my own mother had praised it. Not entirely sure why – this having a book published business is an odd, continually fascinating experience.

* On the other hand, yesterday my brother bought something online (a book on design) for the first time ever. How the other half live!


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