Alex Preston

Hitting the Right Note

The first time someone bent my ear on the subject of my author’s note was at the Italian launch of In Love and War in Florence. The reader was a rather strident older lady in something blousy and floral. She fixed me with narrow, sceptical eyes as we spoke. ‘Why,’ she asked, ‘was there no author’s note at the front of the book? I couldn’t tell what was true and what wasn’t. It’s confusing.’ I told her that Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child had been the model for my approach. I’d been impressed, I said, that in a novel so dense with historical detail, clearly so richly researched, the only words from Hollinghurst which precede the book are of thanks – for the use of Passa Porta writers’ apartment in Brussels. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,
    • 'Readers have no more power to predict where the next story is going to take them than the prisoners had to determi… ,
    • 'Ho was no Soviet or Chinese puppet. He was a nationalist first and foremost. Had the Americans just realised this.… ,