Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

A is for 'Adventures in Capitalism'

Yesterday evening I went to a talk by Toby Litt at Clapham Library as part of the Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival (I'm sure there should be some apostrophes in that title somewhere).

Toby Litt is remarkable for exploring different genres and for titling his books in alphabetical order, consonants for novels and vowels for short story collections. I've been a fan since Beatniks; he's now up to K for King Death, with L in the works.

The library staff had put up a platform in the children's section, so he was watched by cardboard cutouts of Tigger and Piglet as he read from his latest, which opens with a couple witnessing a human heart strike the window of their train.

He talked about his creative process and getting published - the usual story of damn hard work and an eventual stroke of luck. Committed to his craft, Litt moved to Prague for a while because the living was cheap and he wouldn't need to do too much work, thus giving himself lots of writing time. What an excellent idea!

Although he's one of my favourite authors, Litt doesn't necessarily write my favourite books; the genre-hopping means that some of his subject matter just doesn't appeal to me, and I'll read a book, admire its technical expertise, then get rid of it because bits of it were just too nasty.

I have a feeling King Death might turn out to be one of the nasty ones. But since I have a signed copy, I'd better hang on to it.

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