‘If wishes were horses…’

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‘…beggars would ride.’

Having read Lucy Caldwell’s latest novel, ‘All the Beggars Riding’, from cover to cover on Sunday I, like all the critics who have heaped praise upon the book, have to conclude that it’s definitely worth your time.

When she read an extract from the novel at the Verbal Arts Centre a few weeks ago, Lucy referred to it as ‘so-called literary fiction’. (Published by Faber and Faber it could be nothing but). There is nothing, in my opinion however, ‘so-called’ about it – if you want to know what differentiates ‘literary’ fiction from just ‘fiction’, then grab a copy and devour it as I did.

It’s the ability to write beautiful prose which captivates the reader and keeps the pages turning. Words which describe every important detail to perfection, painting vivd pictures in the reader’s mind and which are above all, believable.

“Fiction is the most humane and magical of acts – it’s healing, restorative… We can never know what it’s like to be someone else, ever, except through fiction. People always talk of fiction as if it’s an escape from the world, but it’s not that, or not just that. It’s an escape out of ourselves and into the world too.”

[pic: François Marchal]

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