Second Novel Syndrome

Malcolm Knox, author of A Private Man and reviewer for "The Sydney Morning Herald", writes of Second Novel Syndrome, that curious affliction that causes some novellists to clam up after their first publication. Unfortuately, he uses DBC Pierre as an example. Pierre won the Booker a few years back with his debut novel Vernon God Little. Knox writes:

This year, the highest-profile second novel anywhere in the world will be DBC Pierre's Ludmila's Broken English. Pierre published his debut, Vernon God Little, at the age of 42 and won the Booker Prize. Two years ago, when he was visiting Sydney, I asked him if Vernon God Little had taught him how to write. He was working on Ludmila's Broken English at the time. "I've discovered that it didn't teach me how to write this book," he said. "It only taught me how to write that book."
Unfortunately? Well, as The Literary Saloon puts it: "Alas, readers also discovered it didn't teach him to write any book -- it was a pretty poor piece of work. Indeed, we figure the only hope we have is if he learned from his mistakes. But given how many there were, it's a tall order ..... "

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 10, 2006 11:03 AM.

Australian Literary Monuments #2 - Adam Lindsay Gordon was the previous entry in this blog.

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