Isabel Allende: ‘Threats can send you into grief, but they are inevitable’

Penguin’s Mark Raducanu reviews ‘the best short story by Elizabeth George since Candide’, Tom McCarthy and more

This year’s outing was tough, but last year’s was harder, I have learned

Saddleback Grass, A Company of Fools. “No rules. You cannot turn out. No reviews. No measurements.”

I wrote and shared the short story with a few friends. They couldn’t imagine that an author would publish her work so early. Then a publisher asked if she would review it. It’s true, I was more used to seeing authors’ work “click” on Twitter, online, and then be forgotten. Now, the whole story is part of a book release. It’s been a constant challenge to juggle family and friends and the demands of full-time publication.

Penguin brought me here. Across the wavy terrazzo floors of the United States Penitentiary in Dublin, I have experienced the fruits of my creative labor for the first time. It is, at once, so very great and so very very difficult. I am right now in the transition from someone’s idea to the actual realization of the work. What lies ahead is filled with uncertainty. Fortunately, every time I sit down at my computer I think about the people that I love, knowing that they are pulling me forward.

We are in the same boat. Launching a new book is exciting, but the challenges arise. I know I have this book to thank for my opportunities. The tide has turned, and I am finally more at ease with my journey.

Thank you for your reading!

Mark Raducanu

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