Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Malarky: “reminiscent of Under Milk Wood”

Thank you to JC Sutcliffe at Slightly Bookist for taking precious time to engage with and excavate Malarky.

In her review she remarks:

This doesn’t mention the grief that is stamped through the novel like the writing in a stick of rock, nor the fact that the narrative jumps around in time to make sure that the reader never gets too complacent, too comfortable in a particular emotion. Characters are dead, then alive, the dead again, which plays nicely with our internalised propriety that makes us shy away from speaking ill of the dead.

If all this talk of death makes Malarky sound bleak, it is anything but. It’s a glorious, breathless romp through the mind of an immensely likeable woman, a book reminiscent of Under Milk Wood in the beautiful and unexpected cadences of the writing.

Click the above to read the entire piece.

Was just reading this excerpt of Paul Quarrington’s (RIP) memoir in today’s Globe. Read these few lines and they seem to articulate “a something” is the only way I can put it. A something that often stops me in my tracks or mid thought and puts me into a similar described state of panic.

I tried to be stoic, saying as how I had led a good life, and had lovely friends and loved ones. But then the sight of a very pretty girl reduced me to convulsive sobs. “I’m going to miss this so much,” I managed to get out, although my throat was so knotted with remorse that speech seemed hardly possible.

At last week’s memorial for Anna, for every extraordinary story and anecdote and remembrance shared, I would slump in between recalling that the life so vividly depicted in striking images on the wall and rousing words spoken on a humble community hall stage, that the very life I was learning so much about, had been irretrievably snuffed out. It made the whole thing all the more vicious. And another story or person would stand and my sense of the woman would be enriched further and it became more and more difficult. Yet I was glad to be there, despite the broader struggle it provoked. I also had some distance to take note of this in this situation whereas in other situations I haven’t had that.

I just watched a brief video segment of an interview with a poet, Leslie, 66, who died today. Her face was so extraordinarily beautiful, eyes so vivid and she spoke about losing her breath in Nepal. The above struck me. How can all this, all of this person, now be gone, a once and for all gone? And it can, of course it can and yet how to confront that. The only reassuring thing is that when it happens to an individual they do not “know” it once it is over. But perhaps it is in life leading up to that point we individually confront it. Or not.

The language we use around death does not suffice. We have so much language and yet we use such a select and repetitious series of words to express when someone dies.