November has been all about novellas on PoppyPeacockpens blog and also on Twitter. Poppy has had lots of writers and bloggers choosing their favourite novellas over the last couple of weeks. There have been some fantastic books highlighted already – and I was delighted to take part with my choices being posted on Tuesday.
In case you’ve missed it Poppy is hosting a fantastic novella giveaway in conjunction with Peirene Press who publish, quality, European short novels/novellas all under 200 pages. Click on #NovellaNov and leave a comment to take part.
I chose six novellas but I could easily have chosen lots more, I realised when I stopped to think about it how much I love novellas, they after all rather perfect for those of us with mountains of unread books. I chose novellas by writers Vita Sackville West, Truman Capote and Julia Strachey among others. Stories which for me are perfect – maybe because of their slight size, no word is wasted in these books. Sometimes big fat novels – as wonderful as they often are – can feel like a bit of a commitment.
So I kept my list to six for Poppy’s blog – but there were some that got away, that I could have picked but didn’t quite make the final cut.
So four more highly recommended novellas for you as novella November draws to a close:
1 Up at the Villa – W. Somerset Maugham – the story of what happens when a young woman offers a lift to a stranger in the hills above Florence. It is quite a long time since I read it, but I remember it as being really quite unputdownable.
2 On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan – a simply perfect little novella, beautiful and rather heart-breaking, it is actually a masterpiece.
3 A Long way from Verona – Jane Gardam – the only Gardam I have read so far shockingly, I remember really enjoying this book originally written for children, but I confess I can’t remember it as well as I would like to. I do remember the central character Jessica who I rather warmed to – she had been told that she was ‘beyond all possible doubt’, a born writer.”
4 Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan – is the famous story of a young girl, her father and his mistress at a villa in the South of France. One of those books I really should find time to re-read – I remember it as being so beautifully and evocatively written.
I hope you’ve all been following #NovellaNovember – and if not maybe you’ll take a look at it now. I have naturally added a few things to my ever growing wish list.