Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Largehearted Boy: Book Notes: a musical walk through Malarky

Here is one of the most unique and rewarding forays I have undertaken with Malarky. Thank you to David John Gutowski @ Largehearted Boy for inviting me to participate in his excellent cross-disciplinary Book Notes series:

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, David Peace, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Anakana Schofield’s Malarky is a brilliant debut novel that depicts one woman’s descent into madness with dark humor and an intimate eye for grief and sorrow.

The Montreal Gazette wrote of the book:

“Toeing the delicate line between tragedy and comedy – the former inherent in the bare facts of Our Woman’s life, the latter in her irrepressible voice – Schofield starts at a pitch of inspiration most novels are lucky to reach at any point and remarkably sustains that level all the way through.”


In her own words, here is Anakana Schofield’s Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel, Malarky:

(The playlist has embedded youtube videos of the music )

Tripping over Anne Carson, deliberating on comfort

Today I was searching for another interview and tripped over this Anne Carson interview on Writers and Company. I loved her book Nox. The tactile unfolding, fragments and collage and what it intended. During the interview she tells a story about a teacher who taught her Latin at lunch time in school, whom she subsequently learnt took off to a farm and became a hermit. It reminded me of the single or individual teachers in life who impact us and how important that impact can be. I particularly enjoyed her tale because it reminded me of a wonderful, eccentric French teacher I had, who was very encouraging and supportive of my desire to create odd, effusive sentences in a language I could barely mutter where’s the park, Jean-Paul is sitting by the side of a lake and can I have a raspberry ice-cream in. When it came to writing she would smile at my requests for vocabulary or attempts to add details and delight in them. Strangely in hindsight many of my vocabulary requests concerned the weather!

I must read more of Anne Carson’s work as I am only familiar with a small amount of it.


I drank a cup of Lea Valley Tools tea today and it was very acceptable. The tin of tea was a present from a much loved friend several years ago and I’ve admired the tin, but never religiously engaged with its contents. That will change! It was a particular taste I was looking for and needed to cure a headache from today’s low clouds. And the green tin delivered. Later in the evening thinking maybe it could be a hint, I took up the tools catalogue for a bit of comfort reading.

I’ve been thinking a lot about comfort and how and where we go for it, or how and where it may be right there beside us. I think possibly because yesterday my partner’s brother gave me the most incredible food to eat that he had prepared and I was very taken by the near musical notes in its taste. Also, because our winter and spring have been strangely colder than usual we are still clutching blankets and putting on scarves, which brings me again to the consolation of comfort.