Autumn Updates. Katherine's Wish & More
November 5, 2021On 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 “Profile of Jane Heap,” winner of the Hugh J. Luke award, will be available on my website until the end of November. Another blog discusses 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 https://giveawaytools2.com/giveaway.php?sk=43499053689
Free Access to the Essay. Jane Heap & Her Circle on my blog (until Nov. 30)
Literary and Theatre Podcasts available at YorickRadioProductions, on all platforms. Until next time, be well.