Thursday, August 14, 2014

What is Michelle Lovric reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Michelle Lovric, author of The True and Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
These days, much of what I read is suggested by my father, Vladimir. I’ve inherited both his voracious reading habit and his taste for dark humour and ornate turns of phrase. He’s always right about what I would like. He’s in Australia, and I live in Venice and London, but we talk books every week. The conversation is free, thanks to Skype, but the calls end up expensive as they always involve me in book-shopping afterwards.

My father is a paediatric haematologist, so he’s also brilliant at helping me with the clinical details in my novels.

Recently, he’s put me on to Andrei Makine’s Human Love and Simon Rich’s The Last Girlfriend on Earth.

I also recommend books for my father. Lately, I’ve been urging him to...[read on]
About The True and Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters, from the publisher:
It’s rural Ireland in the second half of the nineteenth century, the age of the Pre-Raphaelites, when Europe burns with a passion for long, flowing locks. So when seven sisters, born into fatherless poverty, grow up with hair cascading down their backs, to their ankles, and beyond, men are not slow to recognize their potential.

Soon, they’re a singing and dancing septet: Irish jigs kicked out in dusty church halls. But it is not their singing or their dancing that fills the seats: it is the torrents of hair they let loose at the end of each show. In an Ireland still hungry and melancholy with the Great Famine, the Swiney hair is a rich offering. And their hair will take dark-hearted Darcy, bickering twins Berenice and Enda, plain Pertilly, gentle Oona, wild Ida, and fearful, flame-haired Manticory—the writer of their on- and off-stage adventures—out of poverty, through the dance halls of Ireland, to the salons of Dublin and the palazzi of Venice. It will bring them suitors and obsessive admirers, it will bring some of them love and each of them loss. For their past trails behind the sisters like the tresses on their heads and their fame and fortune will come at a terrible price.

Rich in period detail, peopled by a bewitching cast of characters, The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a tale of exploitation and celebrity, illegitimacy and sibling rivalry, love triangles and financial skullduggery, of death and devilry. And a very great deal of hair.
Visit Michelle Lovric's website.

Writers Read: Michelle Lovric.

--Marshal Zeringue