On Caitlin R Kiernan

Philip HarrisAuthors, BooksLeave a Comment

Caitlin R Kiernan is one of a handful of authors whose books I always buy but never give away (Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto being some of the others). She’s one of an even smaller number of authors whose books immediately jump to the top of my reading pile whenever they’re published. She’s also an author who makes me want to give up writing – I know I’ll never get close to her imagination or the sheer beauty of her writing so why bother? I’ve been reading Caitlin’s books for a long time. I can’t remember when I discovered her first novel, Silk (published in 1998), but I think it was through her association with Poppy Z Brite – another author whose work I love – and I’ve been hooked ever since. She’s written some fantastic books, Murder of Angels (the sequel to Silk) and Daughter of Hounds are probably my favourites, and so far I’ve not been able to find many other weird fiction authors that are so consistently good. Her novels and stories tend to be dark, particularly her short fiction, so if you’re the type of person who likes nice, neat Hollywood endings tied up with a … Read More

Book – The Lake

Philip HarrisBooksLeave a Comment

I’m a sucker for bookshops, I struggle to leave one without buying something – so much so that I now try to avoid even going inside one if I can help it. A few years ago, before I became so disciplined, I was browsing randomly through a London bookshop when I happened upon a table stacked high with all manner of books. They were part of a three-for-two or buy-one-get-one-free or some other offer I couldn’t resist so I started digging through the piles of books, looking for something that might pique my interest. Nestled among the thrillers and crime novels were a handful of strange little books by a Japanese author called Banana Yoshimoto. Apart from the name, the books stood out because they were very simply designed – mostly a solid colour, pink or yellow or maroon, with a single Japanese character on the front. They were also quite expensive for such small books. I’ve got a soft spot for Japanese literature so I took advantage of the offer to pick up a handful of these strange little books, along with a couple by Haruki Murakami that were in the same sale. When I read them, I was … Read More