Thursday, 8 October 2009


Despite appearances to the contrary, the Roving Editor has not been on an extended summer break. There may have been no blogging of late (apart from via Twitter) but there's been plenty of browsing -- all the fine publications that usually yield the exciting new work featured here have been regularly frequented.

The trouble is, nothing has really grabbed me in the same way that Eleanor Catton and Patricia Engel did earlier this year, or Donald Ray Pollock and Wells Tower did in 2008. Admittedly, it's asking a lot to hold out for talent of that calibre, but that's why I write the blog -- and also why I don't write it that often. It may be that I've been looking in the wrong places; if so, please feel free to point me in the right direction.

In the meantime, to prove I've been a-roving, here are some pointers to work I've enjoyed in the last while but which hasn't quite fit the criterion of being by an emerging writer; while a couple of the names were new to me, all of the writers are established authors to some extent. . .

The excellent Fifty-Two Stories site will run until the end of the year, and I would recommend recent contributions by Lydia Peelle ('Phantom Pain') and the celebrated Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany ('The Kitchen Boy'). I came upon the distinctive voice of Glen Pourciau in the Paris Review last year; 'Nightblooming' by Kenneth Calhoun is one of the most entertaining pieces I've read in 2009. Finally, Five Dials is the most attractively presented online litmag out there; its latest issue has a Paris theme, and features fiction by Steve Tolz.

Do watch this space, and do get in touch if you've got any hot tips to share.