Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sex & Stravinsky - Barbara Trapido

On Wednesday May 12th we welcomed Barbara Trapido back to Abingdon to talk about her first novel in seven years: Sex & Stravinsky.

You can read what I thought about the book here, but one of things I particularly value about hearing an author speak about a book you like is - what goes on inside their head to have produced it?
When she first came to Abingdon two years ago, we learned about her tortuous writing schedule - the repeated writing, rewriting, taping, which then gets typed up, and then scribbled all over. If anything, that process has become even more intense since then.

(As an aside, if you are an aspiring author, it is fascinating to get out and listen to other writers and learn about their writing habits. The process of taping and listening to how your story sounds is a technique that more than one author has spoken about - which I find surprising.).

Barbara is renowned for her characters - some of whom have popped up in subsequent books (in fact one question Barbara received was from someone who wanted to know 'whatever happened to Stella' - it's that kind of connection with the characters in her books that I believe is why she has such loyal fans).

Barbara touched on other aspects of her writing life, her move to Bloomsbury and the autobiographical aspects of the stories she tells. She did three seperate readings from the book (my favourite being the intense and rage-filled 16-year old 'Cat') and then signed copies of her book.
Thanks to Abingdon School for providing the wonderful facility of the sport centre suite once again - and of course to Barbara for making it a special evening for all those that came along.

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