Meet the author
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‘I can’t wait to see what Max Porter does next’, Nick Hornby wrote after he had devoured Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, giving voice as he did so to the feelings of many enthralled readers of Max Porter’s debut. In other words: the pressure was on. But Porter all but collapsed under pressure. With his second book, Porter met all expectations. Lanny is marvellous, compelling, moving and everything in-between.
Looking for Lanny
A stone’s throw from London lies a sleepy little village, at first sight no different from other villages. But if we take a closer look, then life in the village seems to be a mix of everyday life and fantasy. The village is part of England’s mysterious past and part of the confusing present.
The village’s key figure is Dead Papa Toothwort, who always listens and observes. He observes Pete, the eccentric artist. And he listens to Peggy, who stands at her fence gossiping about the families that have just moved into the village. Dead Papa Toothwort listens it all while he is looking for his favourite. He is looking for that special boy. He is looking for Lanny.
The novel, reinvented
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers left many readers enthralled – enthralled by the lyricism of Porter’s language and enthralled by the surrealist, somewhat surprising character of the mourning story. What is this little book of 130 pages in fact? A novel? A prose poem? A tale? Difficult to say. In any case: modest in size, but ambitious in terms of emotional tension and originality.
With Lanny, Porter pulls it off again. He cheerfully sends novelistic traditions crashing down and mixes them all up. Lanny is a lot like a Gothic novel, but then again not quite. What it is precisely is something that Porter himself will explain.
Max Porter grew together with the book trade. As a bookseller, the Londoner won the Young Bookseller of the Year award. He now works as an editor for Granta Books, an institution in the British publishing world. His debut, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, was nominated for, among others, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and won the Dylan Thomas Prize. Porter is above all the first – and so far only – debutant to win the Europese Literatuurprijs.
About Grief Is the Thing with Feathers