Patricia Duncker is the author of Hallucinating Foucault (winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize in 1996), The Deadly Space Between, James Miranda Barry and Miss Webster and Chérif (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2007). She has written two books of short fiction, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1997) and Seven Tales of Sex and Death, and a collection of essays on writing and contemporary literature, Writing on the Wall. In 2010 she published The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge (shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2010 and the Green Carnation Prize 2011). Her most recent novel, the critically acclaimed Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance (2015), was also shortlisted for the Green Carnation Award 2015.
Chase of the Wild Goose
Saturday 3rd June 2023, 2-3:30pm, Plas Newydd, Llangollen, Wales
Publisher of Lurid Editions D-M Withers in conversation with novelist Patricia Duncker
Book launch celebrating the republication of Mary Gordon's Chase of the Wild Goose.
First published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1936, Gordon's heartfelt homage to the Ladies is the forgotten queer novel of the interwar era.
Sarah Waters has described Chase of the Wild Goose as a "fascinating piece of queer literary history" and a "deeply feminist work, a celebration of courage and nonconformity."
Chase of the Wild Goose joyfully reimagines the life and times of Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, and dreams them back into existence.
Join publisher D-M Withers and acclaimed novelist Patricia Duncker for an unforgettable conversation at Plas Newydd, where the spirit of the Ladies can still be felt intimately, rushing through the grounds.
Patricia Duncker is the author of many critically acclaimed novels including Hallucinating Foucault, James Miranda Barry and Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance.
D-M Withers - Founder of Lurid Editions and Lecturer in Publishing at the University of Exeter
View poster for the event (pdf)
View press release (pdf)
Adventures in Bestsellerland
Well, if vast sales were a guarantee of quality, John Grisham would be The Big One. I picked up The Judge’s List (2021) on a cross-channel ferry and noted the sales puff for all his works on the back: 350 million copies sold, translated into 45 languages, 10 blockbuster Hollywood film adaptations. I had never read a book by Grisham in my life, but I like to live dangerously. Here is the story of how I came to read a serial killer thriller, and what happened when I did.
“Louise Simpson the poet won the Pulitzer. Michelle Cliff, Olive Senior, Mervyn Morris, Patricia Powell, Patricia Duncker; all of these writers have written fantastic and brilliant novels. Patricia Duncker’s Hallucinating Foucault is taught in nearly every gender studies class. We’ve always had writers who’ve had a big influence on American writers, even if they’re not well-known. They are all brilliant and they all have books that deserve more readers.”
Narrative ethics and character in the representation of the past in Contemporary fiction
Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June 2023, University of Portsmouth UK
Guest speaker: Novelist Patricia Duncker
Following on from the success of Event 1 in Caen in October 2022, this conference further explores how the past is a key component of contemporary literature. Current years have seen an increased return of history and of the historical novel in mainstream fiction, from the historiographic metafictions of the 1990s to the “fresh commitment to what we might call the reality of history” (Boxall 2013) in 21st-century novels. Considering that character remains central to the novel, this two-day conference jointly organised by the Universities of Portsmouth and Caen wishes to address the issue of the past in contemporary fiction through the question of the choice of protagonists and their representation. Indeed, if we believe with Paul Ricoeur that narrative is the foundation of textual memory, if “narrative imagination is an essential preparation for moral interaction” since it develops compassion and understanding in the reader (Nussbaum 1998), then the question that begs to be asked is: can one write anything about the past in the name of the freedom of fiction and art or is there an ethical limit to representations of the past in contemporary fiction?
Three Good Books
Elizabeth Lowry: The Chosen (riverrun, 2022)
James Cahill: Tiepolo Blue (Sceptre, 2022)
Percival Everett: The Trees (Influx Press, 2022)
In the spring and early summer of 2022 I read three good books. These books, all new writing, adult fiction, published within a few months of each other, and written with intelligence and ambition, raised my spirits. In recent years, it has been hard to find good new books that meet my somewhat exacting criteria.
All Rights Reserved. Patricia Duncker 2023