Two books that inspired me while writing The Testament of Jessie Lamb are Philip Roth’s great American Pastoral – the untold story, the story the Swede will never know, his daughter’s story and why she became a terrorist – that story set me thinking about fathers and daughters, and daughters who act against their fathers’ wishes; and John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, a pure young voice in a terrifying future. A short story writer who always inspires me is Dostoevsky. I have recently been rereading his stories for a short essay in a forthcoming book about short story writers published by Comma Press next month.
I have just read Alison MacCleod’s fine novel UNEXPLODED, and Maureen Freely’s wonderfully exotic Sailing through Byzantium. And I’m rereading the great and glorious Flannery O’Connor.
Jane at Word Factory:
Jane Rogers is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and radio dramatist. Her story collection Hitting Trees with Sticks was shortlisted for the 2013 Edgehill Award, and the title story was a BBC National Short story award finalist. Her stories have been widely published and broadcast. She is author of nine novels, including The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Man-Booker longlisted and winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2012.
Other works include Mr Wroe’s Virgins (which she dramatised for the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama series), Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award) and Promised Lands (Writers Guild Best Fiction Award). She has written original drama for Radio 4, and adapted numerous novels for the Classic Serial slot.
Jane is Emerita Professor of Writing at Sheffield Hallam, where she taught writing for many years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an RLF fellow in Banbury where she now lives.
Her latest novel, Conrad and Eleanor, will be published by Atlantic in June 2016.
Visit Jane online at janerogers.info.