Monday, September 14, 2009

William Boyd in Trinity

Went to hear William Boyd speak in Trinity last Saturday - fresh from reading his excellent latest novel - Ordinary Thunderstorms. He seemed the most amiable of coves, devoid of the kind of literary preciousness I detected in Colum McCann recently. He read an extract from his new novel and then answered questions from his meagre audience. It was a glorious sunny afternoon, which probably impacted the numbers. He spoke about his writing process (two years research, one year writing)and wasn't shy about sharing his opinion of certain sacred cows. He's not a fan of Virginia Woolf it seems and he wouldn't take Jeff Koons too seriously. He was very entertaining on the subject of Nate Tate: An American Artist - his hoax biography of an Abstract Expressionist. He enlisted such worthies as Gore Vidal, John Richardson (Picasso's biographer) and David Bowie in his plot and fooled most of the New York art establishment until the British press broke the story.

He also told us that a film was being made of Any Human Heart. I noticed Stephen Rea in the audience so maybe there's a connection.