Thursday, 13 January 2011

Towards publication, and Rat Girl

Things seem to be coming together. I received the proofs of the (UK) jacket the other day - Transworld have tried a glossy version and also a matt version with 'spot varnishing' on the lettering. Both look gorgeous, and luckily we both agree that the matt is slightly nicer. So that's how the book will look. It could so easily have been different - the book wrapped in a jacket I tolerated, yet didn't love, or worse. As it is I can honestly say I'm very happy with the skin my baby will be wearing out in the world.

Things seem to be gathering pace elsewhere, too. I suppose it was inevitable as the calendar ticked from 2010 to 2011, but we're in the year of publication now so it seems that much nearer, and more real. People are reviewing it, too, on Amazon, and Goodreads, and my friends and family who have received copies are telling me what they think. They're being extra nice, of course, but the general consensus has been positive and very gratifying.

What else? I've just finished reading 'Rat Girl', by Kristin Hersh. In the UK it's been released with it's original title, 'Paradoxical Undressing' (named after a phenomenon in which people close to death from severe hypothermia will mysteriously remove all their clothes). It's a wonderful book, a very powerful memoir, heartbreaking in places but without a shred of self-pity or whining. It tells the story of a pivotal year in Hersh's life, a year when her band Throwing Muses were beginning to find their feet, a year in which she was diagnosed bipolar. Fans of Throwing Muses will love it, of course, but I'd recommend it to anyone. Unlike some memoirs it's superbly written and structured beautifully, and the story it tells is touching, sad, funny and, ultimately, uplifting. It's would be a shame if people who have never heard of (or don't like) her band feel it's not for them.

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