Monday, April 8, 2013

Q&A with Anna Goldsworthy, author of Welcome to Your New Life

Anna Goldsworthy speaks to us about her new memoir Welcome to Your New Life.

What’s your new book Welcome to Your New Life about?

It’s a book addressed to my first child, mapping the months of his gestation and the first two years of his life, for which he retains no memory of his own. I hoped to write a small tale and a large one at the same time: nothing and everything happens.

What was the most surprising thing for you about having your first child?

It has been a non-ending sequence of surprises. But perhaps the greatest surprise was how completely my baby was his own person, from the very first moment. I had previously imagined parenthood as a version of self-love, fuelled by narcissism. The surprise was that it is about loving somebody completely other, at a level that transcends self-regard.

Welcome to Your New Life is your second memoir. Did you always plan to write another memoir after Piano Lessons?

Absolutely not. After writing Piano Lessons and then talking about it exhaustively, I was thoroughly bored by ‘Anna Goldsworthy’, and had grander projects in mind. But over the course of my pregnancy and the early months of my son’s life, I jotted things in my notebook, until I realised I was accidentally writing another book.   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Yvonne M. Ward discusses Unsuitable for Publication

We talk with Yvonne about her experiences writing Unsuitable for Publication: Editing Queen Victoria.

Can you tell us a little about Unsuitable for Publication?

My book tells the story of how Lord Esher and Arthur Benson went about the task of selecting and editing the first three volumes of the Letters of Queen Victoria published in 1907.

The idea of publishing the letters of a monarch was totally novel. People generally welcomed the opportunity to read the writings of their much-loved Queen; some courtiers argued that they were unsuitable for publication. Her son, King Edward VII, seemed to have no opinion either way, but, ultimately, he had power of veto over the content of the volumes.