Kirsty Gunn published her first novel with Faber in 1994 and since then has written five works of fiction, including short stories and a collection of fragments and meditations. She is also Professor of Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, where she established and directs the writing programme. She lives in London and Scotland with her husband and two daughters.
Complied by novelist and short story writer Kirsty Gunn, with its title taken from a Gertrude Stein poem, Such a Sweet Singing is a soul-stirring collection of poems that have been chosen for their power to empower women. Sharing female voices that sing through the centuries - from Sappho through to contemporary writers - it’s a volume to savour and return to. A book to share and gift. As Gunn sets out in her lucid, rousing introduction, “we go to poetry to be nourished”, and so she’s selected poems that might nourish women from all walks of life - women of “all ages and backgrounds”. The selections have been smartly themed, with chapters covering Courage, Love, Imagination, Family, Home, and Life, and every spread supplemented by stylish, unobtrusive illustrations. Possessing the sway to slow us down, fire us up, and spark meaningful reflection, Such a Sweet Singing is a book worth shouting about, whispering with, and treasuring.
What can one say about such a collection of stories on infidelity except read them. They cover the spectrum, divided into three sections, “Going Out”, “Staying Out” and “Never Coming Home”. Poignant and beautifully poetic, they leave you with an edge of sadness. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Caroline's Bikini is the tale of a classic love affair; a swirling cocktail of obsession and imagination. The moment that Evan Gordonstone - a successful middle-aged financier - meets Caroline Beresford - a glamorous housewife, hostess and landlady - he falls into unrequited love, a story as old as Western literature itself. Evan recounts the tale of his infatuation to his friend Emily, and thus begins a hypnotic series of conversations set against the backdrop of West London bars, fuelled in intensity by endless G&Ts. From the depths of midwinter to July's hot swelter, Evan's retelling of his passion for Caroline will take him to the brink of his own destruction.
A short story by Kirsty Gunn from the collection Reader, I Married Him: Stories inspired by Jane Eyre.In 'Dangerous Dog', a fitness instructor teaches teenage boys how to handle a pit bull terrier by telling them Jane Eyre's story.Edited by Tracy Chevalier, the full collection, Reader, I Married Him, brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Bronte's game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.
A new work by a highly acclaimed author - The Big Music(2012) was described as 'One of the finest novels of the past decade' by the TLS The essay will appeal to all fans of Katherine Mansfield A profound meditation on the nature of home and artistic influence When Kirsty Gunn received a Randell Fellowship from the British Academy and Carnegie Foundation in 2009 she returned to spend the winter in Wellington, near the childhood home of Katherine Mansfield, the writer to whom she'd always felt most connected.
'The hills only come back the same: I don't mind . . .' begins Kirsty Gunn's The Big Music, a novel that takes us to a new understanding of how fiction can affect us. Presented as a collection of found papers, appendices and notes, The Big Music tells the story of John Sutherland of 'The Grey House', who is dying and creating in the last days of his life a musical composition that will define it. Yet he has little idea of how his tune will echo or play out into the world - and as the book moves inevitably through its themes of death and birth, change and stasis, the sound of his solitary story comes to merge and connect with those around him. In this work of fiction, Kirsty Gunn has created something as real as music or as a dream. Not so much a novel as a place the reader comes to inhabit and to know, The Big Music is a literary work of undeniable originality and power.
A distinguished literary novelist celebrates marriage, friendship and motherhood in this rich and breathtakingly intimate treasury of stories, essays, poems and letters. In 44 Things, Kirsty Gunn celebrates her home and her family. This bedside book is a mosaic of personal reflections written over the course of one year in moments stolen from the vibrant and chaotic world that inspired them. In these forty-four pieces - one for each year of her life - Kirsty Gunn shares her most cherished moments in a unique and inspiring work. '44 Things is a response to the life that goes on around me as I live and work with my family at home... Forty four pieces of different kinds of writing that have one thing in common - they are written by this woman, me, who lives at this time in her life fully and imaginatively sustained by what goes on in her domestic world.' -- Kirsty Gunn
From the author of Rain and Featherstone comes a story of a sun-drenched, sea-soaked day which changes a boy's life forever. At the start of a summer's day, Ward is waiting on the beach. His friend, Alex, wants him to come to a party at Alison's where there'll be girls and drinks and the possibilities of fun. But Ward is shy and self conscious and struggling to move from under the weight of his powerful father. He'd rather wait on the beach for the surf to come up. As the the sun moves towards its highest point and the girls' laughter carries along the wind towards Ward, the tide changes and Ward is faced with a dramatic event that will change his life forever. This beautiful and intense coming-of-age story captures perfectly the discomforts and challenges of being fifteen years old with the world stretching out in front of you. Sensual, heady, as though dazed by the heat of her pages, Gunn slowly unfolds a tale of danger and sexuality, of mothers and sons and the fathers who rule them, and of the sea.
FEATHERSTONE: an attractive, small rural town serving outlying estates; bank, post office, school . . . At first glance, Kirsty Gunn's small country town is like any other - a closely connected community bound by habit and familiarity. Yet as we're invited to spend the weekend in Featherstone we come to realise there's something about the place that unsettles us, something intense and intimate that goes deep into the lives of the people who live here and bares their hearts. 'The title of Kirsty Gunn's beautiful new novel is a key - the marvellous weighting of words, how each word falls and floats on the page . . . a richly layered and rewarding novel.' Scotland on Sunday
A twelve-year-old girl spends summers at a lake with her parents and little brother. The days are long and hot and while the parents entertain their friends the two children are left alone to play and dream and let the future come down upon them . . . This is a story of loss. Of how families come undone. How children grow up. And how by losing the one most dear you find that in the end only a kind of oblivion can comfort you. Exploring the way memory works, remembering both as a child and as an adult looking back on the child, Rain is an attempt to show the dissolving of the past. The reader is given the experience of remembering, along with the narrator, so that the story is not something told but is more like a dream, unravelling and disappearing while it is being read yet also yielding up each moment as intense, sweet, hypnotic.