Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Claire Fuller, an artist, novelist and short fiction writer.
Claire studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specialising in wood and stone carving. She also has a masters in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester.
She began writing fiction at the age of 40, after many years working as a co-director of a marketing agency.
Her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, was published in the UK last week by Fig Tree/Penguin (I’m reading it at the moment, so expect a review in a week or two). It has just been published in Canada by House of Anansi and will be published in the US on 17 March by Tin House.
You can read her flash fiction, blog and other writings on her website and follow her on Twitter @clairefuller2
Without further ado, here are Claire’s choices:
A favourite book: Legend of a Suicide by David Vann
This is a book of five short stories and a novella about the same characters, exploring the suicide of the author’s father. The stories don’t so much interweave as overlap and contradict. The novella, especially, left me with a taste in my mouth that I couldn’t get rid of for days. It’s told from the point of view of the son, Roy, but then halfway through Vann breaks all the rules, flips the story on its head and still somehow carried me along. It is grizzly and gruesome, and poetic and full of descriptions of the Alaskan sea and forest. Can you tell that I love it?
A book that changed my world: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
This is one of the books that made me want to write and I still read it at least once a year. It is the perfect story with the perfect characters: a little bit odd, a little bit creepy and a little bit sad. You know those stories that feature a weird tumble-down house inhabited by two lonely spinsters? Now, imagine what those spinsters were like when they were eighteen or so, and how they might have ended up in that house without any friends or other family. This is that story. The narrator, Merricat Blackwood, is so enthralling, so vivid, that I fall under her spell every time, and every time I am still misled.
A book that deserves a wider audience: This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone by Melissa Coleman
I haven’t ever come across anyone talking about this book except on GoodReads, so on that basis I’m assuming it’s a book that deserves a wider audience. A narrative memoir, This Life Is in Your Hands tells the story of how Melissa Coleman’s family joined the ‘back to the land’ movement in the 1970s in America. Their life is hard and sometimes tragic, and even though Coleman’s descriptions are frank and seemingly honest, she doesn’t lay the blame on either of her parents. This book has really stayed with me and I press it into the hands of as many people as possible.
Thanks, Claire, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
These are great choices. I love Legend of a Suicide and can see how that may have provided inspiration for Our Endless Numbered Days. I’m also a Shirley Jackson fan and loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle when I read it a few years ago. The only one I haven’t read, and had not heard of before, is This Life is in Your Hands, which sounds rather intriguing…
What do you think of Claire’s choices? Have you read any of these books?