Michelle Lovric 

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News

Updated the first week of each month.








Harristown Sisters
































Harristown Sisters at the gated garden

Harristown Sisters in the Gated Garden at London’s Borough Market






















Harristown Sisters by the celtic sea by Meredith Crosbie

photograph by Meredith Crosbie
















































Harristown Bridge

In Bruges
 

July 2014

Book news

Reviews have been coming in for The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, published on June 5th by Bloomsbury in the UK. The American edition will be published in August.

It was the lead fiction review in The Times on Saturday June 7th

“This is story to sweep you up and spin you about like a mad Irish jig. It swirls you away amid giddy torrents of language into a fantastical, sensual, yet villainously comic world …

Lovric relishes language. You almost taste the words that twist round your tongue and burst open on your lips. Here are slanging matches in which curses are pelted like fistfuls of slime. Here are eddies of adjectives. Here are descriptions to reinvigorate even the most mundane scenes.

Perhaps it is the rain forever scribbling on our roofs and our faces that teaches the Irish our unstinting verbosity,” says the auburn haired narrator Manticory. “ It’s what we have instead of food of luck. Think of it as a generosity of syllables, a wishful giving of words when we have nothing else to offer by way of hospitality: we lay great mouthfuls of language on you to round your bellies and comfort your thoughts like so many boileds and roasts.

… the dark Freudian undercurrents of the fairytale are updated to deal with contemporary themes, among them the objectification of women and the right to privacy. As the compulsive power of her narrative increasingly overcomes the plangent mazes of her description, the reader finally realises that they are in the irresistible hands of a storyteller who portrays not just her period but human nature too.”

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times, June 7th 2014


“Lovric’s tale is lush with delightful Irish rhythms and memorable characters.”

Kirkus June 5th 2014


“The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a book permeated by a malignant sadness. Lewis Wolpert coined the phrase in his 1999 book Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression. If not technically applicable, the phrase definitely captures the underlying mood of this novel. Joy and anything approaching happiness are only very sparsely, and sometimes perversely, peppered throughout the novel. The melancholic expression of the red-haired girl on the front cover should have given me a clue. Yet, not far from her face are those words ‘true and splendid’ — and thus the peculiar beauty of this novel is expressed: in her delineation of destitution, fame and death, Michelle Lovric writes a truly splendid novel.”

The Cover Co June 12 2014


“Michelle Lovric’s darkly lively vocabulary and fantastical storytelling makes me feel I could tumble down a rabbit hole into another, not entirely nice, world. The Harristown Sisters is the tale of seven Irish siblings, heart-breakingly poor but all with a gift valued by the Pre-Raphaelite age they live in: extraordinarily long flowing hair. And so they are whisked away into dubious society and dangerous fame. Just love her humour and magical flamboyance.”

Kerry Fowler, Sainsbury’s Magazine, July 2014


“Sometimes, all you want from a book is fabulous escapism, a rich and detailed plot, unusual and memorable characters, larger than life but oddly real, a bit of a saga, a bit of a fantasy, a dash of historical realism, an edge of melodramatic soap opera, all tied up with excellent writing and a cracking pace.

Look no further, friends!

I’ve found this season’s pacy but gothic, horrifying but enthralling, joyful and mournful, grubby, edifying, modern but ‘olden days’ read. Michelle Lovric, The award-winning writer of The Book  of Human Skin, has crafted something really beautiful and unusual in True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.”

UBS Review of Books June 17th 2014


“… if you aren't nail-chewing within moments of the deliciously elongated climax starting to build, you have no nails to start with.”

Ani Johnson, The Bookbag, June 6, 2014


“I was a Michelle Lovric fan from the moment I started reading ‘The Book of Human Skin’. Amazing book that lives with me still – years after I first read it! So when I saw this book, I had to read it.

Was I disappointed? Not at all. The Swiney Godivas are quite simply wonderful …”

S.J. Bradford’s Book Blog June 4th 2014


Image Magazine in Ireland chose The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters as its book of the month, describing it as “an addictively subversive page-turner.”

“Michelle Lovric’s The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a book which almost appropriates the adjective ‘fecund’ to itself by way of description, so much does its language teem with rich, sappy, loamy, fruitfulness, even to a glorious abandon of excess …

This is a Gothic, operatic book by virtue of the intensity of feeling and opulence, sumptuousness of language, the reaching of heights of ecstasy, the plummeting the darkness of jealousy, violence, betrayal and murder. But the whole is delivered with such vivacity, such joyousness and juicy humour and playfulness of language that it becomes a wild, frolicsome read, despite the savage undercurrents.

And lest the term ‘Gothic’ should fret potential readers who might fear the pages may romp with werewolves vampires zombies and such other silly company – fear not, the ‘Gothic’ relates to the architecture of the language, full of delicious crenellations and furbelows. There ARE monsters within these pages, and they are all of a very human kind, with no need for the agency of magic.”

Lady Fancifull June 6 2014


“My book of the year to date. It took my breath away ….”

Fleur in her World, June 10 2014


The book’s rollicking, earthy voice evokes 19th-century Ireland with gusto, and Lovric brings the sisters and their tangled relationships to life as they come full circle to confront the poverty and losses from their past.”

Publishers Weekly, USA, June 10 2014


From the very beginning Lovric’s use of language is as colourful as her story; her descriptions of Venice and its palazzos are particularly lovely. Manticory’s voice is vibrant, intelligent, endearing and, at times, very funny … It’s a thoroughly entertaining tale in which love, lust, tragedy, comedy and revenge all play their part, and it ends very satisfyingly.

A Life in Books, June 22nd 2014


In Harper’s Bazaar July issue, Sam Baker named The Harristown Sisters as one of her top ten reads for the summer:

“An admission: I adored Michele Lovric’s macabre, Orange long-listed The Book of Human Skin. A second admission, I have a lot of red hair. These two things combined, I was always going to love The Harristown Sisters - singing, dancing septuplets who social-climb their way from poverty-stricken Dublin to Pre-Raphaelite Venice on the back of their auburn locks. But, as with the fairytale spirit Lovric so successfully conjures, nothing comes without a price.”


There’s a string of interesting reviews on Goodreads too.

 

New writing

Michelle Lovric has posted a blog about a research trip to Ireland on The History Girls on June 10th (following her interview on the same site with Mary Hoffman)

Her next blog for The History Girls will be July 10th.

She posted on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on June 11th about being caught in flagrante by an eminent publisher

Her piece on five literary landmarks in Venice was published on Wanderlust June 14th. These included the newly reopened medical museum at SS Giovanni e Paolo and the home of Pietro Aretino.

And her interview with Pam Johnson on Words Unlimited on June 16th discussed the ways in which she researches, organises and structures her work, certain regrets about giving up her work as a packager of designed books and the way in which she writes some novel scenes as poetry before smoothing them into prose.

On Electric Sheep, Michelle Lovric posted on why she identifies with a philistine, impotent, Irish child-killer from the movie In Bruges.

Bookanista will feature an article she has written about hair and sex in the nineteenth century

Bookings are now open for the September 20th Guardian Masterclass on How to Write for Children with Lucy Coats and Michelle Lovric.

 

July books

Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players
Sophie Hannah, The Carrier
Jan Morris, Sultan in Oman
Simon Rich, The Last Girlfriend on Earth
Hilda Sheehan, The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood
Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation
Bela Grunberger, New Essays on Narcissism
Nina W. Brown, The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern
Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
Zari Ballard, When Love Is a Lie: Narcissistic Partners & the Pathological Relationship Agenda
John S. Ogrodniczuk Understanding and Treating Pathological Narcissism








Harristown Sisters










You magazine








Deidre Kelly Wonder Atlas

The Undrowned Child

 

June 2014

Book news

The True & Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters is published on June 5th by Bloomsbury in the UK. It comes out in August with Bloomsbury in the USA.

The publishers have created a wonderful Pinterest board about long hair and literature, to celebrate publication.

Some advance reviews

This is the riotous and true (!) tale of seven 19th-century sisters, who, with their help of their luscious long red locks, rose out of poverty in rural Ireland to become famous performers. Hooked from page one!

Company, June 2014

Lovric takes a little known piece of history and breathes it into full and colorful life. Impossible to put down.

Cayocosta72

 

New writing

On the History Girls, May 10th, Michelle Lovric posted a personal essay about Julia Pastrana, the woman with hair where hair should not be, and consequently one of the most celebrated freaks of the hair-obsessed Victorian age.

Author and wine-journalist Patricia Guy has hosted a photo-essay by her dog Stanley about accompanying Michelle Lovric on a writerly walk around Venice.

On May 25th, You Magazine, in The Mail on Sunday, published a feature by Michelle Lovric on the phenomenon of the Seven Sutherland Sisters, who took America by storm with their 37 feet of hair and their million-selling hair products. The Sutherlands are the inspiration behind The Harristown Sisters.

Michelle’s next History Girls post will be on June 10th. She will be writing about a shockingly poignant research trip to Ireland to hunt down a habitat for the Swiney Godivas, the singing and dancing siblings who are the protagonists of The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.

She is interviewed by Mary Hoffman for the History Girls site on June 1.

Big Blog

She’ll also be guest blogging on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on June 11th, about the embarrassment of being caught in flagrante delicto by an eminent publisher in a Venetian palazzo. ABBA was recently named number 2 in the top 10 list of literary blogs.

The June diary for English Writers in Italy is an essay by Michelle Lovric on a piece of floating history in Venice.

She has written a piece on Five Literary Landmarks in Venice for Wanderlust, to be published on June 7th

Meanwhile the excellent Venetian blogger Erla Zwingle has recorded the passing of Signor Baiamonte Tiepolo. His long-ago ancestor is the villain of Michelle Lovric’s first two books for children, The Undrowned Child and The Mourning Emporium.

 

June books

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Alessandro Marzo Magno, Bound in Venice
Edward St Aubyn, Lost for Words
Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
Ann Weisgarber, The Promise
Liane Moriarty, The Husband’s Secret











Harristown Sisters




























The Undrowned Child

City Runner by Deidre Kelly

Deidre Kelly Wonder Atlas





















Venice Preserved











The Heroes' Welcome

 

May 2014

 

Book news

The Goodreads website has the first full review of The Harristown Sisters.

Here is an extract:

This book is a delight from page one. And nothing has ever made me want to visit Ireland so much as this book did. That's not a burn against Ireland. But there was such a vividness of description, that smell, language, dialect, culture, history, legend, lore leaped off the page at me. The story of seven sisters, their abundance of hair, and the trials and tribulations that come as a result of this could have been the stuff of fluffy lightweight melodrama.

But I do not exaggerate when I say that nothing I have read in contemporaneous fiction, comes as close to resembling a Bronte novel as this one does. I'm not going to say which Bronte as we all have our favourites and dislikes and I'm not planning on prejudicing you one way or the other. The fact that there were seven sisters alone who formed the core of the novel's characters presents challenges in differentiation, but each sister was such a personality and had such a unique voice.

I was constantly on the verge of weeping at how beautiful a grasp of language Michelle Lovric has. This book could have been written in the 19th century. Every sentence and paragraph feels carefully thought through but not at the expense of pushing the narrative forward. Turns of phrase stopped me in my tracks and had to be re-read. This isn't a case of style over substance. There is a complete harmony at work here. … If you're someone like me who laments that they don't write them like they used to, do yourself a favour and read this book.

Review by Anton, April 4th 2014

 

Essie Fox has published a review of The Book of Human Skin on her blog about writing.

I adore Michelle Lovric's writing style which is magical, flamboyant and entirely assured. Her YA novels are also a delight - if only we'd had them when I was a child! However The Book of Human Skin is decidedly not a children's read. It is fiercely dark and subversive, though not without great humour. 

The central story is that of a Marcella, a young girl who is locked away in a convent when her brother, Minguillo (mesmerising and charismatic, but horribly evil too) begins his narration with the words 'This is going to be a little uncomfortable'. Indeed it is! And Marcella's suffering at his hands is narrated from the extravagant viewpoint of no less than five individuals who (apart from creating a sense of awe that any writer could pull that off) knit together a complex scheme of events that lead to a thrilling conclusion.

I particularly enjoyed this novel because the quite sinister convent scenes are set in Santa Catalina, in the Peruvian city of Arequipa, a convent which I have also toured, and found it to be an inspiring place with a melancholy, haunting air. I always thought I would like to set a novel of my own in that place. But having read Michelle's Lovric's work I couldn't even begin to compete. Delightful, horrific and riotous. A truly entertaining read.

(And while we are on the subject, should you enjoy this novel, Michelle Lovric's The Remedy is another based upon the convent theme.)

Review by Essie Fox, DO YOU DO THE WRITE THING? blog, April 1st 2014.

Essie’s atmospheric and lush Victorian novels, The Somnabulist, Elijah’s Mermaid and The Goddess and the Thief are published by Orion. She blogs as The Virtual Victorian, and her clever website is here.

 

Darren Hartwell at BOOKZONE (FOR BOYS) has written a heartfelt blog about the current media furore about gendering of the children’s book market. He cited Teo Gasperin, female protagonist of The Undrowned Child, as a character who could appeal to both boy and girl readers:

Michelle Lovric is not only one of my all time favourite writers of Middle Grade fantasy, she also writes fantastic female protagonists. Teo in The Undrowned Child, and its sequel The Mourning Emporium, is up there with Alice in my mind, but Talina (Talina in the Tower) and Amneris and Biri (The Fate in the Box) are almost as great.

 

Diary

Exhibition in Venice:

DÉIRDRE KELLY

‘NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION’

22 May - 14 June 2014

 

Opening: 22 May 2014, 6-8pm

Impossible landscapes, routes and directions emerge from Deirdre Kelly’s 'altered' maps which are certainly ‘not to be used for navigation’.

Maps are tools that provide the means by which we both organize and locate ourselves within a continually changing world. Déirdre Kelly manipulates cartography to create her own personalised maps. Standing before these map collages, the viewer is both ‘found’ and ‘displaced’ in relation to pictorial worlds, as the overarching spatial rules collide with the particulars represented.

From palimpsest to hypertext: artists have literally and conceptually been ‘mapping’ the world, looking at the familiar in different ways, as new technologies have replaced the magical world of wonder encapsulated in hand-drawn maps and atlases of the past.

‘My map is my mirror’, Déirdre Kelly describes her infinite map, reminding us of the human need and a desire for physical maps, now more than ever.

 

Déirdre Kelly, born in London, lives and works in Venice, Italy.

Kelly has been exhibiting since 1985, her works can be found in many private and public collections including: Museum of Modern Art Library, New York; Tate Gallery Library, London; Reuters Ltd and Sedgewick Group International. www.deirdrekelly.net

 

Scuola Internazionale di Grafica
Cannaregio 1798, Venezia 30121
+39-041-721-950 • fax +39-041-524-2374

info@scuolagrafica.it
http://www.scuolagrafica.it

 

An unusual production of Thomas Otway’s classic Restoration play, Venice Preserv’d, is to be performed by the Spectators’ Guild in Greenwich this Spring.

See details here:

http://thespectatorsguild.org/
http://www.venicepreservd.co.uk/

 

New writing

Michelle posted her second essay about Venice on the eve of World War One on The History Girls, April 10th

She will be writing the June diary piece for English Writers in Italy and a posting for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on June 11th.

Her next History Girls blog will on May 10th.

 

May books

Elizabeth Hand, Mortal Love
Phyllis Grosskurth, ed, The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds
Derek Humphry, Final Exit
C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington, The History of Underclothes
Alison Luchs, ed, Tullio Lombardo and Venetian High Renaissance Sculpture
Peace, Psychopath Free
A.B. Admin, Psychopaths and Love
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

Louisa Young, The Heroes’ Welcome, the sequel to the History Girl’s acclaimed best-seller My Dear I wanted to Tell You, and just as sensitive, moving and beautifully written.

 

 






Harristown Sisters

Harristown Sisters

 

April 2014

 

Book news

In an early review of the American edition of The True & Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters. Karen Frank writes:

If the Swiney sisters were with us today they would be the stars of a reality show which would blow the Kardashians out of the water. Lovric bases her novel on an actual American sister act and resets the events in post famine Ireland. From starvation to world acclaim these sisters use their amazingly long and luxurious hair to rise to the heights as an entertainment sensation while falling victim to an unscrupulous 19th century marketing scheme. Alternately dark and delightful the story is a Gothic feast with plenty of meat.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, has written: 'Michelle Lovric is devilishly clever, fiendishly comic and generally just an irresistible novelist. I delighted in every page.' 

 

An extra date has been added to the Guardian Masterclasses How to Write for Children, which Michelle Lovric teaches with Lucy Coats. The following dates are now confirmed:

April 5th

May 7th

May 31st

To book, contact the Guardian

 

New writing

In her art of writing blog, Lisa Clifford interviewed Michelle Lovric about how food can be used in plot and character development. The interview can be seen here.

Michelle posted a piece on Venice on the eve of World War One The History Girls blog on March 10th.

She will continue that essay in her History Girls blog on April 10th.

 

April books

Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling
Drew Keys, Narcissists Exposed
Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands
Brian Dillon, Tormented Hope

 

 



Harristown Sisters



















Deidre Kelly Wonder Atlas
 

March 2014

Goodreads has a giveaway offer for The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, to be published on June 5th, by Bloomsbury.

 

New writing

Michelle posted a piece on The History Girls on February 10th about a letter of passage for two milk-fed zebras. Her next History Girls blog will be on March 10th.

A new course on food-writing in Tuscany

Taste Every Word

 

Venice News

Venetian collage artist Deirdre Kelly features in a new exhibition in London

GLUE

Contemporary Collage & Photomontage


CHART gallery, 62 Old Church Street, London SW3 6DP 
Open Wed to Sat: 12 - 6pm; Sun: 12 - 4pm / 020 7323 1109

SHOW CONTINUES TO SUNDAY 9 MARCH
rsvp: info@chartgallery.co.uk    www.chartgallery.co.uk

 

March books

Kate Atkinson, Life after Life
Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall
Erik Larson, The Devil in White City
Edizioni Kina, Syracuse City of Art and Ancient History

 

 







 

February 2014

Michelle posted a blog about the Feast of the Epiphany in Venice on the History Girls website on January 10th.

Her next posting there will be on February 10th.

 

February books

Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
Mira Crouch, Almost Home, a memoir of migration
Jonathan Roper, ed, Charms, Charmers and Charming
Arthur L. Stinchcombe, Sugar Island Slavery in the Age of Enlightenment.
Laurence Alma Tadema, The Crucifix, a Venetian Phantasy
James Endell Tyler, Oaths; their origin, nature and history
F.O. Shyllon, Black Slaves in Britain
Eleanor Farjeon, The Fair Venetian
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, History of My Life, Vol 1
Michael Hulse, Half-life
Elisabetta Caminer Turra, Selected Writings of an Eighteenth-Century Venetian Woman of Letters






Harristown Sisters

Lucy Coates

Canaletto
 

January 2014

A welcome to the Harristown Sisters …

WE LOVE THIS BOOK asked ten of its favourite bloggers to nominate the books they are most eagerly anticipating in 2014.

Fleur Fisher chose The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, saying, “I have loved Michelle Lovric’s dark, rich, historical novels, and, after travelling to Venice and to Latin America with her, I am so excited to discover the stories she will tell and the pictures she will paint of 19th-century Ireland, in the wonderfully titled The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.”

Fleur Fisher from Fleur in her World. Follow Jane on Twitter @fleurinherworld



The first three Guardian Masterclasses on Writing for Children, taught by Lucy Coats and Michelle Lovric, have sold out and so new dates are planned for April and May 2014, with a whole weekend in February:

http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/children-s-writing-and-publishing-weekend-nosy-crow-lucy-coats-writing-course

Lucy Coats blogged about the teaching experience on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.



New writing

Michelle posted a blog about seeing a Canaletto painting from a unique perspective for the History Girls, December 10th, 2013.

Her next History Girls blog is scheduled for January 10th.



Venice News

English Pantomime in Venice
JACK & THE BEANSTALK
With extravagant costumes, great music, and audience participation, it's great fun for both kids and adults, whether one speaks English well or not!
Free to the public!
Donations will be collected at the end of the performances to benefit the non-profit organisation La Gabbianella, which is dedicated to providing the warmth of a family to the young children living with their mothers in the female prison on the Giudecca island in Venice.
Teatro a L'Avogaria
Dorsoduro 1617, Calle Lunga San Barnaba
Thursday, January 16 at 7:30 pm
Friday, January 17 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 18 at 3:30 pm
Bookings are obligatory
Seating is limited
To book, please email pantoinfo@gmail.com with the date and time of the performance, and the number of seats requested. A confirmation email will sent to you. Or, telephone us at 348 5150212.
To keep up-to-date on Pantomime news go to Facebook “Panto Venezia“, follow us on Twitter at “Panto Venice“.



January books

Tiziano Scarpa, Laguna l’invidiosa
Peter Hoeg The Elephant Keepers’ Children
Lucy Inglis, Georgian London, Into the Streets











Venezia Città di Lettori



Crocodiles of Venice

Tales on Moon Lane
 

December 2013

Please note that the January news will be posted a few days later than usual.

Apologies to Tracey Robertson for rendering her speechless, but also thanks for an interesting review of The Book of Human Skin on The Book and Booze Club website:
It begins:  "This is going to be a little uncomfortable".  
One hundred and thirty-seven pages in and it is screwing up my real life.  Darn that hideous, hazy state when life drags you from a disturbing read and places you in the company of others feeling disconnected and tongue tied.
This book might actually be rendering me speechless.
I must finish reading it so that I might, once again, function in life like a normal  (relatively), fully engaged (partially) human being.

 

New writing

Michelle was planning a post about her experience of filming with Michael Portillo on one of his Great Railway Journeys on History Girls website for November 10th but computer problems meant she missed her slot. (Instead, there is an excellent post by Elizabeth Laird about literary travellers).

Her next History Girls blog will be on December 10th.

Her essay (in Italian) on using Baiamonte Tiepolo as a villain in her children’s books has been published in La congiura imperfetta di Baiamonte Tiepolo, edited by Nelli-Elena Vanzan Marchini. The book records the proceedings of two conferences held in 2010 to mark the 700th anniversary of the failed conspiracy to murder Doge Pietro Gradenigo and set up a new government in Venice.

 

Venice News

The Venezia Città di Lettori campaign to save the bookshops of La Serenissima has continued with a new initiative on November 30th.

Well-known Venetian authors served as booksellers for a day in the city’s surviving bookshops:
gruppo Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/480626258677072/ 

Cafoscarina Michela Scibilia [mattino], Alberto Fiorin [pomeriggio]
Don Chisciotte Fabio Amadi [mattino], Marco Crestani [pomeriggio]
Giunti Sant’Aponal Davide Busato [mattino], Michela Scibilia [pomeriggio]
Giunti Strada Nova Andrea Molesini [mattino], Davide Busato [pomeriggio]
Marco Polo Tiziano Scarpa [10–11], Fulvio Ervas [11–13], Anna Toscano [pomeriggio]
Mare di Carta Cristiano Dorigo [mattino], Paolo Ganz [pomeriggio]
Miracoli Marco Crestani [mattino], Paola Zoffoli [pomeriggio]
Punto Einaudi Tiziano Scarpa [11.30–13], Tiziana Plebani [pomeriggio]
Studium Alessandro Marzo Magno [mattino], Cristina Gregorin [pomeriggio]
Toletta Paola Zoffoli [mattino], Alberto Toso Fei [pomeriggio]
Ulisse & Co Alberto Fiorin [mattino], Elisabetta Tiveron [pomeriggio] 
Wellington BooKs Robin Saikia [mattino], Carla Toffolo [pomeriggio]

In a strange echo of the events of Michelle Lovric’s novel, The Fate in the Box, a new happening has been taking place in Venice since November 6th. Spot the similarities in the cover of The Fate in the Box, and the promotional poster for Crocodiles of Venice on the left.

The show takes place every Wednesday evening from 6pm at F30, one minute from Piazzale Roma and a few feet from the Calatrava Bridge.
http://www.veneziatoday.it/eventi/discoteche/crocodiles-venice-f30.html
http://www.facebook.com/pages/VeneziaToday/252463908142196
A taste of the show can be seen in this video on Youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaA-jDG69mo

 

December books

Booklovers will be delighted to hear that Tales on Moon Lane has reopened looking more beautiful than ever, after the flood that closed the bookshop in the summer.
Jacob Tomsky, Heads on Beds
Colm Toibin, Testament of Mary
Helen Dunmore, The Love of Fat Men
Ned Beauman, Boxer Beetle
Ed Sean Lawlor and John Pilling, The Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett

 





Michael Portillo
 

November 2013

Michelle Lovric is interviewed by Michael Portillo in the Great Continental Railway Journeys episode on BBC2 at 8pm on November 3rd.

 

Venice News

The 2014 Venice Pantomime, entitled Jack and the Beanstalk (Jack e i Fagioli Magici) will be held at the Teatro a L'Avogaria January 16, 17 and 18. Bookings will be taking bookings for seats in December and January.

Conference on the Lazzaretto Vecchio and the Ospedale Civile in Venice

Le conferenze-dibattito si terranno all'Ateneo Veneto:

il 22 ottobre alle ore 17,30 con Nelli Vanzan Marchini,Gaetano Thiene dell'Università degli Studi di Padoca, Girolamo Fazzini responsabile del Lazzaretto Novo : La storia e il futuro del Lazzaretto Vecchio,

il 29 ottobre alle 17,30 Il patrimonio storico dell'Ospedale Civile nella Scuola Grande di San Marco, relatrice Nelli Vanzan Marchini, sono invitati al dibattito Giuseppe Dal Ben Direttore dell'USSL 12 veneziana, le soprintendenti Lorena Dal Poz, Giovanna Damiani, Erilde Terenzoni.

il 5 novembre parteciperanno alla tavola rotonda su I patrimoni della sanità veneziana, progettualità europea e modelli di sviluppo compatibile

Alberto D'Alessandro (Consiglio d'Europa, Venice Office), Fausta Bressani (Direzione dei Beni Culturali della Regione del Veneto), Umberto Marcello del Majno (Comitati Internazionali dei privati), Vincenzo Tiné (Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici del Veneto), Erminia Sciacchitano (referente MiBact per la cooperazione con il Consiglio d’Europa)

 

New writing

Michelle contributed some thoughts on drowning to the History Girls blog on October 10th. Her next post on that blog is on November 10th.

 

November books

Beatrice Hitchman, Petit Mort

Ines Bielski Lagazzi, Saint Lucy

Alessandro Marzo Magno, Bound in Venice, The Serene Republic and the Dawn of the Book

 

 






Harristown Sisters
 

October 2013

 

Michelle Lovric’s next book for adults, The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, will be published by Bloomsbury in June 2014 in the UK and in August in the USA.

The Fate in the Box is one of eight shortlisted titles for the Hillingdon Primary School Book of the Year Award 2014.

Two poems by Michelle have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Her poem about a London rat visiting Venice has just been published in Projects Inspired by Poetry and Art by Céline George and Rebecca Bruce.

 

New writing

Michelle posted about a march through Venice’s past on The History Girls website on August 10th

Her next History Girls blog will be on October 10th.

 

 

October books

Davide Busato, Serial Killers of Venice

Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon

Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Wendy French and Jane Kirwan, Born in the NHS

Roddy Doyle, Greyhound of a Girl

Frank Schatzing, Death and the Devil

 

 

 





 

August & September 2013

Welcome to the Birdcage describes The Book of Human Skin as ‘a wonderful slice of fiction … If you're a fan of any Gothic Literature, the works and writing of Anne Rice or shows like Hannibal, Game of Thrones or The Borgias on HBO etc I would recommend this book for you. This dazzlingly dark novel will certainly prove an interesting read as it turns one of the most beautiful cities in Europe into a much grimmer place. The story is shocking and amusing in all the right measures. Don't read this book if you have a queasy/weak stomach.’

Darren Hartwell at Bookzone4Boys has posted a heartwarming review of The Fate in the Box: ‘With this, her fourth book, surely it is time that Michelle is lauded by all as one of the current greats, along with the likes of David Almond, John Boyne, and even Neil Gaiman. I certainly enjoyed this a lot more than I did The Ocean at the End of the Lane.’ He adds: ‘Somewhere I have a much used book mark that bears a quote by the great Mark Twain. I think it goes something like: "My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Fortunately everybody drinks water". Yes, I drink a lot of water, but every now and again I like to partake of a fine wine, and Michelle Lovric's books are among the finest of fine wines available.

And Cheryl Pasquier has also reviewed the Fate in the Box here at Madhouse Family Reviews. She’s picked up on the underlying message that we should not rely on machines and technology so much.

 

Events and appearances

Michelle Lovric will be teaching a Guardian Masterclass in children’s writing with Lucy Coats on September 7th. The course is sold out but there are further sessions planned for October and November.

She will also appear at the Festival of Book Clubs at Lord Wandsworth College on September 11th.

Lord Wandsworth College
Long Sutton
Hook
Hampshire RG29 1TB

 

New writing

Michelle posted a blog about a new mascot for Venice on the History Girls on July 10th.

On August 10th, she posted on gifts to the water, historical and present. Her next post on the History Girls will be September 10th.

 

August books

Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
Mary Roach, Stiff
Joan Carroll Cruz, Relics
Louise Levene, A Vision of Loveliness
Paula Martinac, Chicken
James Bentley, Restless Bones
Nicholson Baker, A Box of Matches
Kevin Fong, Extremes
Kathleen Walker-Meikle, Mediaeval Pets
Rob Lloyd Jones, Wild Boy
Penelope Lively, According to Mark
   

 

July 2013

 

New writing

Michelle posted a blog about blue glass seahorses, hair sandwiches and veiled statues on The History Girls on June 10th.

Her next blog for The History Girls will be July 10th.

She writes about beautification and laziness in an interview with Beth Kemp at Thoughts by the Hearthfire.

 

Venice news

Many of Venice’s grave problems have possible solutions, but no robust attempt has been made to apply them.  Anna Somers Cocks has written a sobering account of the city’s governance for the New York Review of Books.

 

July Books

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
Andrea Ashworth, Once in a House on Fire
John Julius Norwich, The Paradise of Cities
Augustus Hare and St Claire Baddeley, Venice
Joseph Pohle, Mariology
John Eglin, Venice Transfigured
Vernon Lee, The Enchanted Woods
Federico Barbierato, The Inquisitor in the Hat Shop
Alison Luchs, The Mermaids of Venice
H. Chick (ed), A Chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia
Andrew Jotischky, The Carmelites and Antiquity
Various, San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice

























Artwork by Agnes Treherne
 

 

June 2013

The Fate in the Box, published May 2nd, has been receiving reviews.

Elizabeth Murray at Inis, the magazine for Children’s Books Ireland, says, ‘Lovric uses a unique and charismatic approach to standard themes such as good vs evil, right vs wrong, selfishness vs the greater good and the right to redemption and revenge. Overall, The Fate in the Box delivers a gripping blend of nail-biting adventure, brain-tingling mystery and laugh-out-loud slapstick – with a rewarding ending, guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats.’
Read the whole review here

Vincent Ripley at Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books writes, ‘There is so much going on in this story that you are never quite sure what’s coming around the corner. It could be amazingly written dialogue one minute quickly followed by humour and laughs the next. With a combination of suspense, mystery, horror and mayhem this story really does have the lot. It is a truly creative and, in my opinion, a one of a kind reading experience.’
Read the whole review here

Sarah Taylor at Bookbabblers read the whole book in two sittings.
Read her review here

Sue Purkiss on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure warns that ‘The Fate in the Box is not for the faint-hearted … But the way the story is told is so affirmative that, even as you seriously consider taking shelter behind the sofa, you know that ultimately good – and the children – will triumph. I’d recommend this to boys and girls who enjoy adventure, humour, fantasy, and a good story phenomenally well told.’
Read the whole review here

Meanwhile Bookwitch warns readers that they also risk getting an education …

Beth Kemp at Thoughts from the Hearthfire says that The Fate in the Box has ‘all the characteristics of the best-loved children’s stories, including larger-than-life characters alongside believable child heroes, magic and mystery and clear lines between good and evil.’
Read the whole review here

Sam Hawksmoor at Hackwriters has worked out the connections: There is great evil and paranoia in this Italian adventure and much fun to be had in what is really a kind of distant prequel to the wonderful Undrowned Child by Ms Lovric. The conclusion: A complex delight with vivid writing that brings old Venice to life in a way that only Michelle Lovric can do. Are there any mermaids you ask? – Can there just be only one shrivelled specimen in the Museum of Natural History?  Read on if you dare.  You will not be disappointed.'
Read the whole review here

And The Fate in the Box’s salty-tongued curry-gobbling mermaids are also mentioned in this lovely review for The Undrowned Child.

Barrie Kerper at The Collected Traveller Blog has written a long post about Michelle Lovric’s writing for children and adults, and the bookshop campaign in Venice. She says, ‘even though I find and enjoy lots of fiction related to the places I’m going, it’s rare to find an author who is as completely smitten with the place as I am, someone who has delved into a place’s history and current affairs and makes it his or her business to really make readers feel they are right there. Michelle Lovric is one of these authors, and Venice is her specialty. She adds, ‘I put Lovric’s fictional writing about Venice in the same category as Alan Furst’s writing about Paris, Sarah Dunant’s writing about Renaissance Florence, Lawrence Durrell’s writing about Alexandria, and Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz writing about Fra Filippo Lippi in their book The Miracles of Prato.’
Read the full piece and the interview here

Meanwhile The Mourning Emporium receives a lovely accolade from Mary Hooper writing for the Guardian. She picked it out as one of her favourite historical reads, saying,The story had me on the edge of my seat: it’s a sparkling, whirling mass of a book, different from any other historical fiction you’ll read.’
See all Mary Hooper’s other choices and read about her own new novel The Disgrace of Kitty Grey here.

The first ever electronic editions of Michelle’s earlier three novels for adults are published on June 3rd by Bloomsbury. They are
Carnevale  
The Floating Book

and

The Remedy

The books will be reissued in paperback, with new covers, to coincide with the publication of the new adult novel, The Swiney Godivas, in 2014.

 

New writing

Michelle has written a poem about a young London rat who travels to Venice and ends up romantically entangled in more ways than one. It is included in Projects Inspired by Poetry and Art by Celine George and Rebecca Bruce, to be published in September 2013 by HarperCollins. The poem has been beautifully illustrated by Agnes Treherne.

Michelle will be the guest speaker at a Guardian masterclass on How to Write For Children led by Lucy Coats. The course takes place on September 7th 2013. Details and booking information here.

Michelle posted a piece on The History Girls on May 1oth about exploring the extraordinary bell-tower of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice.

She wrote about what has happened to all the Canaletto paintings in Venice for Mary Hoffman at Book Maven

… and about creating bookshop window displays for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure

She revealed some Swedish affinities and strange truths about herself in an interview with Bookwitch

… and chatted to Teresa Majury at Lovely Treez Reads about all things Irish and Italian, and about the vulnerability of writers young and old

With Sarah Taylor at Bookbabblers, she talked about writing the eighteenth century and the ‘pulchroactivity’ of Venice

Michelle’s next History Girls post will be on June 10th.

June books

Charles L. Graves, Ed, Humours of Irish Life
Algernon Bastard, The Gourmet’s Guide to Europe, 1903
Moris Farhi, Songs from Two Continents
Natasha Solomons, The Novel in the ViolaKatie Fforde, Living Dangerously
Günter Grass, Poems of Günter Grass
J.O. Choules (ed), Young Americans Abroad Vacation in Europe: Travels in England, France, 
Holland, Belgium, Prussia and Switzerland, 1852
Hunter Davies, The Grand Tour
George. H. Heffner, The Youthful Wanderer, 1876
(extract: As I was very much disappointed with Venice, 
I shall not occupy much time in describing this daughter of the sea. 
The railway bridge which leads to this city is about two miles long. 
I expected that a city whose streets are canals and whose carriages 
are all boats, would present a very unique appearance, but when I 
once saw them, they were so exactly what I had anticipated, that I 
felt disgusted and left the city without doing justice even to the vast 
collection of paintings in the Ducal Palace.’

 

 







 

 


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