Readersforum's Blog

September 25, 2014

The brilliance of Richard Brautigan

Fairytale meets beat meets counterculture: bursting with colour, humour and imagery, Brautigan’s virtuoso prose is rooted in his rural past – and that’s what draws me in.

Over the years, I’ve lived in a variety of places, including America, but I was born and raised in the Lake District, in Cumbria. Growing up in that rural, sodden, mountainous county has shaped my brain, perhaps even my temperament. It’s also influenced the qualities I seek in literature, as both reader and writer. In my early 20s, connecting with fiction was a difficult process. There seemed to be little rhyme or reason to what was meaningful, what convinced, and what made sense. There was a lot of fiction I did not enjoy, whose landscapes seemed bland and unevocative, the characters faint-hearted within them, the very words lacking vibrancy. This was no doubt empathetic deficiency on my part. I wouldn’t say it was lack of imagination – if anything, roaming around moors and waterways solo can lead to an excessive amount of making things up, a bizarreness of mind. I suppose what I wanted to discover was writing that served these functions, and I was in danger of quitting books.

Around this age I first read Richard Brautigan.


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November 24, 2012

Hall and Sprackland win Portico Prize

Sarah Hall

| By Benedicte Page

Sarah Hall and Jean Sprackland have been named the 2012 winners of the Portico Prize for Literature, each receiving £10,000.

Hall [pictured] won the fiction prize for The Beautiful Indifference (Faber) while Sprackland’s Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach (Jonathan Cape) triumphed in non-fiction. It’s a second time Hall has won the prize, which is given biennially; she also won the 2010 award for How To Paint a Dead Man.

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