I have started to read Eowyn Ivey's (sic - have I been mis-spelling it 'Iwey' all along?) The Snow Child. I am delighted to confirm that it is both extremely well written and a gripping story. I am on page 104, about to start on Chapter 13. Ivey fulfills V S Naipaul's self-imposed criterion of always writing about more than one thing. This doesn't mean that Ivey has written a leadenly obvious fable, nudging us irritatingly in the ribs nodding and winking and tapping the side of her nose but that she has succeeded in writing convincingly both about a middle-aged couple struggling with life in Alaska and about much more than that: about ...well you can read it yourselves and then we can discuss.
The free online service The Writer's Almanac reminds that today is the birthday of the comic novelist David Lodge, born in suburban London, England (1935), to a traditional Catholic family. His early novel, The Picturegoers (1960), is about a Catholic family in South London who take in a university student as a lodger. Other early novels draw on Lodge's own life: Ginger, You're Barmy (1962) about compulsory service in the British military, and The British Museum is Falling Down (1970) about a Catholic graduate student working on his thesis.
It's the birthday of novelist Colette, born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in a village in France (1873). She's the author of more than 50 novels, including Gigi (1944), which was made into a movie. She died in 1954 at 81 years old, the first woman in the history of France to be given a state funeral -- 6,000 people filed by her casket and covered it in flowers.
Collette said, "Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it."