Friday, July 11, 2008

Sarah Salway's literary top 10

Sarah Salway published numerous short stories and won several writing competitions before her first novel, Something Beginning With, was published in 2004 by Bloomsbury in the UK and Ballantine in the US (as The ABCs of Love). It has been translated into several language. Her second novel, Tell Me Everything, was published by Bloomsbury (UK) and Ballantine (US) in 2007.

She has published a collection of short stories, Leading the Dance, and, co-authored with Lynne Rees, the experimental collaboration, Messages (both from bluechrome publishing).

Salway blogs at Sarah's Writing Journal and A Quiet Sit Down.

From Sarah Salway's literary top 10 at
My favourite novel that no-one else seems to have heard of

Maiden Voyage by Denton Welch. Probably the book that started me writing, as much for the rhythm of the sentences as the painterly descirptions. I found it in this amazing English-language bookshop in Amsterdam, was hooked, and not only read everything he wrote after that but ended up living only a couple of miles from the area he lived in and wrote about. Not a coincidence, as we’d spend many days cycling along the routes he wrote about — his descriptions are vivid enough to follow. It sounds as if I’m a stalker, but Denton Welch died in 1948. Probably one of the most exciting moments of my life was when I went into a neighbour’s house and saw photographs of him everywhere — this neighbour had been married to DW’s best friend.

The book I’d most like to reread, if I could find it again

Recently I asked on a web forum if anyone could identify a children’s book which I’d loved but couldn’t remember the name of — all I knew was that contained a tower, a girl admiring her shoes and sugar-iced biscuits (I’d even forgotten the horse). Anyway I got dozens of replies straight away and was happily reunited with The Little White Horse. So now I’d probably say it was the book I wrote in my head one night — it was absolutely perfect and completely shaped. Of course when I woke up, I couldn’t remember one thing about it, except that it was a masterpiece.
Read the entire entry for Salway's literary top 10.

Also see: Salway's top 10 books about unlikely friendships.

Writers Read: Sarah Salway.

--Marshal Zeringue