Monday, 8 August 2016

The Knives launched at Daunts Cheapside 04.08.2016

My kind of shopfront
The independent Daunts chain of bookshops is a huge boon to London and its readers and writers. If we don't have as many booksellers as we might wish in London (compared, say, to coffeehouses, where the product is hardly cheaper though its use-value is cursory), then these ones that we have are to be prized.

The City is a zone of London where the habitues could always do with some edifying reading to keep their eyes above the horizon, and that's what Daunts Cheapside offers. Like every iteration of Daunts I've seen, it's well-stocked and adroitly-staffed and all about good books.

Editor Lee Brackstone addresses the room
That's where Faber & Faber and I went to launch The Knives last Thursday night, the night of the day of the novel's publication. It was a lovely crowd, on a heady August evening when people not already off on their holidays could have been excused for choosing the pub instead. The pub, in any case, is where we ended up, but not before the speeches and toasts that are customary to wetting a book's head.

Edna O'Brien dispenses the wisdom
Obviously when you write for a living you have writerly friends, but I would hope to be forgiven for singling out the attendance of one author to whom the rest of us are naturally inclined to bend the knee in this day and age. Edna O'Brien's literary production has been enjoying a tremendous resurgence at Faber and Faber where she, like me and a good few other fortunate souls, draws on the editorial support of Lee Brackstone. So I was delighted when Edna dropped into my do, as indeed was everybody else in the room.

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