Charlotte Wood Interview

brothers_sisters.jpg    At the end of 2009 Charlotte Wood (best known as the author of such novels as The Submerged Cathedral and The Children) released an anthology of stories titled Brothers and Sisters. She spoke to Jo Case of the "" website:
The stories in Brothers and Sisters were all specially written for this anthology. What made you decide to commission new works rather than anthologise existing stories?

It was initially my publisher's idea - Jane Palfreyman's - to commission entirely new stories, and as soon as she said it, the whole project became much more exciting. Somehow, the writers agreeing to write to a theme injected the anthology with an element of risk, and therefore of energy, that I don't think it would have had otherwise. There was always the danger that having agreed, one might find one had nothing to say, so I suspect some of us had to work really hard, pushing our work in new directions in order to discover a way into the topic. I know some of the writers (including me) found the whole process much more confronting than they'd expected.

I think the commissioning of new works also had the unexpected side effect of giving the anthology a cohesion it might not otherwise have had. Obviously an editor's personal literary tastes come into play in choosing contributors like this (rather than existing work choosing us, as it were, simply by relating to the topic), so I think some common ground between the writers - a precision with language, a reflectiveness, a kind of smokiness - lies beneath the collection as a whole.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 11, 2010 1:47 PM.

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