I’ve been away from London taking a break from daily life and the publishing world. I’ve been in Russia, a place which brings to mind those books and short stories set in that far away country.
Years ago, Radio 4 broadcast Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a serialised drama. Newly married, we had no TV set although we did have a radio. Each week, we listened to the events in the novel unfolding almost before our eyes, as we were sitting in the dark, with nothing to distract us. Later, I read the novel.
At some point I read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, hardly able to put the book down until I reached the end. Years later, my husband worked in St Petersburgh and we were able to trace the steps of Raskolnikov, searching out the place of various scenes in the narrative. At the time, I was a member of an on-line reading group, so I led a discussion group on the places in the book.
More recently, I’ve enjoyed the short stories of Chekhov, notably the story of The Lady with the Dog, as it is called by Wikipedia. It is also called The Lady with the Lap Dog or The Lady with the Little Dog. The structure is ahead of its time as the ending of the narrative is left open. I first read this story as part of my MA in Creative Writing at Chichister University.
Now I am back at home with only the stories set in Russia. But also to the news from across the Atlantic that my article about changing a novel into a memoir is published on the American website BooksbyWomen. Life has moved from one continent to another.
Click on the link http://booksbywomen.org/from-novel-to-memoir/ to read the article.