Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Gabrielle Kimm tells me her Desert Island Book Choices

The Coutesan's Lover
Gabrielle Kimm is the best-selling author of His Last Duchess and The Courtesan's Lover. I have dragged her away from Renaissance Italy where she is researching her next novel for a stay on my Desert Island whilst I am on my blog tour. Today Gabrielle is holding the fort here whilst I am at Legacy of a Writer and So Many Precious Books so Little Time. There is an interview and Giveaway of THE GILDED LILY too at Unabridged Chick.

Gabrielle says,
"I first thought I might like to be a novelist when I was a child, and my mother bought me a copy of a book called ‘The Far Distant Oxus’, written by two schoolgirls: Katharine Hull and Pamela Whitlock. (The book was re-issued by Fidra Books last year.) I was entranced by it, and it began a longing in me to write my own novel. Being only twelve, and the two authors being fourteen and fifteen, I reckoned then that I had at least two years in which to fulfil my ambition! But as my first novel hits the shelves, some thirty six years later, perhaps in hindsight I have to admit that that assessment was just a little optimistic …"

Gabrielle's time is now divided between family, writing and teaching English in a secondary school, and she will be able to take some time out from that busy life on my island.On her website she lists the things she loves as peace and quiet (something of a rarity !), and watching the changing of the seasons. Both of those she can enjoy on the island, but the other things, well I won't tell her there's not a hope of Radio 4, playing the piano, walking her dog, that perfect cup of tea, or chocolate.
(Well, ok, I'll allow her a small bar of chocolate as emergency rations), but she will have her choice of three books - here they are:
Classic:  Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck.  A book I've taught to GCSE students over a number of years.  Each time I re-read, I find another perfect phrase, another beautiful comparison, another heartbreaking instant of tragedy.  A stunning book.

Current:  Florence and Giles, by John Harding.  So hard to choose a current novel - I've been reading voraciously for months!  But this extraordinary homage to Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is the book which I think has stayed with me the longest after reading, which has burrowed its way into my thinking.
Non-Fiction:  It has to be Daily Life in Renaissance Italy, by Elizabeth Cohen and Thomas Cohen.  This book has been my bible since I began researching for His Last Duchess.  I'd be lost without it!

Find Gabrielle on her website:

No comments:

Post a Comment