Updates from Rome writer, Linda Lappin
Autumn Updates Katherine's Wish, back in print, goes radio! Book Giveaway & More
On Halloween it’s said that the veil between the worlds grows thinner – on November first and second, the souls of the dead are believed to be closer to us. It’s a time to remember those we have lost – visit their graves, make pilgrimages to special places, light candles, leave offerings. It’s a time that I remember Katherine Mansfield.
Katherine Mansfield, born on October 14th, made her last journey at the end of October 1922, entering Gurdjieff’s institute at the Prieuré in Fontainebleau outside Paris, where she died ten weeks later. How and why she went there seeking to become a pupil of Gurdjieff’s science of being, has fascinated me for years, and radiates at the core of Katherine’s Wish, my novel tracing the last five years of her life. My research for this novel extended over a decade and produced two essays in addition to a novel. The first, “Ghosts of Fontainebleau” was originally published in the Southwest Review available at JSTOR the second, “Katherine Mansfield and DH Lawrence, A Parallel Quest,” won the Katherine Mansfield Society Essay Award I was pleased to see one of these essays and also the novel included in an excellent resource on Mansfield’s connection to Gurdjieff available on gurdjieff-bibliography.com
Originally published in 2008, winner of the IPPY gold medal in historical fiction and short listed for the ForeWord book of the year in fiction, 2009, Katherine’s Wish received high praise from the Katherine Mansfield Society, the Historical Novel Society from Rain Taxi and from Mel Ulm's fabulous book blog, Re Reading Lives
After languishing out of print, Katherine’s Wish is back in print again, and available at Bookshop Org.
It’s also currently featured on FranceBookTours who are offering a giveaway of the book now extended until Nov. 30. 2021. Direct giveaway link here
Katherine’s Wish is also the core of a new experiment – a radio play, produced in association with YorickRadioProductions in the UK. I worked on the script over the summer with Yorick’s founder, Rosie Beech, and we have now passed on to the rehearsal phase.
I have been working with Yorick since March 2021, when Rosie interviewed me about my latest novel, Loving Modigliani, and also featured a reading from the book on her podcast, available here
In summer, Yorick featured my reading of my story "Mal D’Isola," with sound effects, on her channel, and in October, celebrated Mansfield’s birthday with a vintage podcast of a talk about Mansfield and Katherine’s Wish , followed by a short reading from the final chapter, available here
I am working with some fabulous young British actors, and Rosie Beech is a savvy director as well as a gifted actor. The current episode we are rehearsing now deals with the friendship of Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, and their conversations on writing diaries. As the project continues, I will be posting more about it.
Recent posts on my blog have included a commemoration of Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson’s trial for pornography – after publishing chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses in their magazine the Little Review – the full text of my essay “Jane Heap & her Circle,” winner of the Hugh J. Luke award, will be available on my website until the end of November. Other recent blogs discuss the fate of PierPaolo Pasolini’s tower in Tuscia, recently sold to private hands.
to sum up:
Book Giveaway for Katherine's Wish at FranceBookTours until Nov. 30th https://giveawaytools2.com/giveaway.php?sk=43499053689
Free Access to my prize winning essay about 2 pioneers in LBGT Literary Publishing Jane Heap & Her Circle on my blog (until Nov. 30) Jane Heap & her Circle
Literary and Theatre Podcasts available at YorickRadioProductions, on all platforms. YorickRadioProductions
Now into our second covid summer, life has unfolded interspersed with short lockdowns since January. The promotion and follow up of my new novel LOVING MODIGLIANI: THE AFTERLIFE OF JEANNE HEBUTERNE , carried me through most of that period, offering a safety valve of escape and distraction, as new writing and multimedia projects took shape.
I am proud to announce that Loving Modigliani won the Women’s Fiction Category in the Indie Reader Discovery Awards and was a finalist in the Daphne DuMaurier Awards. I am grateful to all the readers, reviewers, interviewers, bloggers, judges, and web hosts who warmly endorsed the novel. Special thanks to BonjourParis.com , Fusac.com, Travel Writing World Trip Fiction, the RWA Kiss of Death Chapter, World Radio Paris, Shauna Gilligan @ Writers’ Chat, ByronsMuse, Frenchvillagediaries, the Content Reader, Bonnie Reads, Meredith Mullins, Mel Ulm, among many and FranceBookTours for the attention they gave the book. I was particularly tickled to be featured in the fabulous Paris blog MessyNessyChic.com in the Daily Art Magazine and twice on the Historical Novel Society website – both reviewed and interviewed . I was delighted with the praise the book earned from Kirkus and Indie Reader but was especially pleased with Lisa Coletta’s insightful review in the Italian Insider
Among the highlights of the spring and summer were a Zoom event with 3 other authors inspired and obsessed with the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo – aka the Monster Park, which is the setting and the heart of my mystery novel: Signatures in Stone –A Bomarzo Mystery (overall Daphne DuMaurier winner in 2014). Together with novelists Teresa Cutler Broyles, Gigi Pandian, and historical writer and local expert on the Tuscia, Mary Jane Cryan. we discussed the garden’s history, alchemical associations, and magical atmosphere and read from our works about the garden – youtube link
In May, I participated in an event organized by FranceBookTours, Four French Artists in Fiction with novelists Drema Drudge, Lilianne Milgrom, and Joe Byrd. We read from our novels based on the lives of French artists, discussed them briefly, and took questions from an international audience. Special thanks to Emma of Words and Peace for her work in organizing this very classy event. Lilianne has blogged about the experience for Art in Fiction. A video of the Zoom event may be viewed on youtube
The most exciting project of this period has been a series of audio recordings – which began when World Radio Paris invited me to do a short reading from Loving Modigliani. After that, I was hooked. Years ago, I worked briefly for the RAI as an interpreter for radio interviews, and before that had some theater training. So last spring, I had the opportunity to brush up some skills long forgotten. Over the last four months, I have collaborated three times with Yorick Radio Productions – with a long interview and a reading from Loving Modigliani – followed by a short story with sound effects - MAL D’ISOLA, an unsettling encounter with the spirt of place-- which I recorded with a Yeti mike and audacity. I am planning a longer project with Yorick Radio Productions based on Katherine’s Wish – my novel about the life of Katherine Mansfield. I have also kept up my activity as a reviewer – and am delighted to have reviews already out or forthcoming from the California Review of Books, the Italian Insider, and Rain Taxi. I find that reviewing books by other writers is an excellent discipline for collecting my thoughts and impressions. It’s also an excellent way to attract editors’ attention and create new contacts. If you are having a slump or off period in your work, it’s a good way to focus energies and get writing.