In Margate by Lunchtime is reviewed by Jackie Biggs on A Writer’s Life:
At the beginning there is a conversation with a parakeet. “We are the ones chosen to light up these drab skies of yours, provide a flash of effervescence,” it says. Yes, that’s what this writer does, she brings light to the animation of the place, the vibrancy of all its levels, from the arrival of the flamingos, to Benjamin Zephaniah, to Turner and TS Eliot. Towards the end we have some words from The Wasteland: “I can connect/Nothing with nothing.” But straightaway the narrative is decisive and tells us: “I think not.”
Many connections are made in this book, between the characters in the various narratives and the reader. In a direct statement toward the end of the collection, the narrative tells us to “think of this as a pointillist painting, these impressions of ordinary lives in a corner of England…” They are all connected and intertwined and they have an impact beyond that created by a group of impressions. It’s a hallmark of a great story collection that the individual stories stand alone, and stand out, yet the whole taken together has a depth of meaning that is greater than the sum of the parts.
This book had me turning pages, eager for the next story, the next chapter, the next new character, much as an exciting novel would. It creates images, feelings for a place and for people in a way that only the poetic imagination can.
There are several new books forthcoming in June 2015. Poetry collections – Automatic Writing by John Brewster and Zygote Poems by Richard Thomas – and a debut collection of short stories by Emma Timpany, The Lost of Syros. Full details will be available soon.
A little further ahead, in the autumn, there will be a fantastic collection of poems by Gordon Meade with illustrations by Douglas Robertson, Les Animots: A Human Bestiary, and another book to add to our stable of non-fiction books, or Curious Things as we call them: The Hungry Writer by Lynne Rees. Lynne talks about her writing and food on SkyLightRain.
We were delighted to learn that Rose Cook’s ‘Poem for someone who is juggling her life’ appears in a new Bloodaxe anthology, Lifesaving Poems edited by Anthony Wilson. The poem is in Notes From a Bright Field, which you can buy for £8 from Cultured Llama.