Sunday, July 10, 2016

What is Jane Rogers reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jane Rogers, author of Conrad & Eleanor: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
I’m usually reading several books at the same time, for various reasons; often my reading has to do with other writers I am meeting, or with research. The research might be towards a novel, though at the moment two of the books I’m reading are for research towards a radio drama and a piece of online journalism. Then there are the books I read because they’re recommended by people I trust, or because of brilliant reviews, or simply because I want to. Finally, I seem to spend a lot of my life on trains, and size is a factor in the book I chose to take with me. I hate the fashion for huge books that don’t fit easily in my backpack or handbag. So, here are four that I have on the go at the moment:

Robert Louis Stevenson, In the South Seas (research), which contains his letters and essays about his travels in the South Seas in the last years of his life. Stevenson is one of the best writers ever, it amazes me that he is not more highly regarded by English-speaking readers. The French revere him! I’m working on...[read on]
About Conrad & Eleanor, from the publisher:
From the multi-award-winning and critically acclaimed author of The Testament of Jessie Lamb comes this riveting novel about the devastating secrets revealed in the midst of a disintegrating marriage.

The story of a marriage, and of two lives in science.

When Conrad fails to return from a conference, Eleanor wonders if it is because of the affair she is having? Or perhaps it is because his research into transgenic monkey hearts is stalling; perhaps he is sick of having the less successful career of the two of them? She is a leading expert in stem cell research. Their grown-up children suspect Eleanor of murdering their father; El secretly fears that what has driven Con away is his discovery of their daughter Cara’s parentage.

While his family in Manchester, England, scrabble for clues and reasons, Conrad—alone, confused, and on the run from a crazed animal rights activist—loses himself in the cold foggy streets of Bologna. He revisits the stages of his long marriage to El, from the happiness of the year of Cara’s birth to the grief and anger he now feels. Both partners are forced to re-examine their relationship, and, in the process, to move closer to an understanding of what it is that matters most to each of them.

Conrad and Eleanor is a radical, remarkably nuanced look at marriage.
Visit Jane Rogers's website.

The Page 69 Test: Conrad & Eleanor.

Writers Read: Jane Rogers.

--Marshal Zeringue