Thursday, June 16, 2022

Top ten forests in fiction

Zoe Gilbert's first novel, Folk, was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and adapted for BBC Radio (read by the brilliant Samantha Spiro). She has just finished turning some of the chapters from Folk into a libretto, for a song cycle that will have its world premiere in 2023.

Her recently released second novel, Mischief Acts, is inspired by the past and future of the Great North Wood, which used to cover a large swathe of South London.

At the Guardian Gilbert tagged ten top forests in fiction, including:
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Robert Grainier lives in a clearing in the woods, and likes to howl with the wolves. Johnson blurs that psychological boundary between human society and the wild life of the forest: domesticated dogs give birth to wolf-like cubs; wolf-boys perform at the local theatre. Grainier’s fateful encounter is a climactic one I won’t spoil, but it perfectly combines his greatest fears and longings in one symbolic entity, and is alive with the strange enchantment of hybrid things.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue