It is the summer of 1989 when Lucas witnesses an event that will tear his family apart. Over a decade later, his estranged father succumbs to a suspected heart attack.
Lucas shuns grief and escapes to New York with his colleague Mariana. However, a dark secret from his past threatens to re-emerge and destroy the burgeoning relationship before it has even begun.
When his father’s girlfriend fails to reappear after reporting his death, the true cause of his demise falls under scrutiny. And as the startling truth comes to light, Lucas must confront the fact that father and son may not have been so different after all.
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After gaining a first in Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design at Canterbury, Paul Read found employment at Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road before becoming a teacher. He has taught at several inner city schools as an Art and English teacher, both in England and Italy, where he currently lives with his partner and two children. He received a distinction in creative writing for his MA at City University London.
The Art Teacher was published in 2016 by Legend Press.
His second novel, Blame, will be published in early 2017.
#FavFive with Paul Read
What’s your favourite book cover by another author and why?
I think my favourite book cover remains the one Picador used for Graham Swift’s Last Orders back in 1996, the one with a half-drunk pint of beer on the front. There have been a few similar versions of this over the years but the one I’m talking about – the original edition – has the drink taking up the whole cover, swirling foam clinging to the glass, raised in relief from the rest of the design. I thought it was very evocative, and thirst-inducing. The book itself is excellent and justifiably won the Booker.
What is your favourite time to read?
My favourite time to read is not the same time I actually get to read, which is usually during my short commute, or last thing at night. If I had full control over my own life (one can dream), I would read all morning, while my brain cells are functioning at something approaching maximum capacity. It wasn’t always that way. I used to be a night owl and would only really wake up at twilight but years of six-thirty alarm clocks have well and truly reversed that.
Do you have a favourite snack to nibble whilst reading?
I don’t have a favourite snack, but I do have a sweet tooth and no shortage of sugary checkout-bait I’m manipulated into buying. I’m particularly fond of the sugar present in aperitivi, but cocktails interfere with reading. What I often do – and I’m a bit embarrassed to be admitting this – is, if I’m eating on my own, cut up my meal as though I were about to feed it to a baby, into small forkfuls, and then take the book in my left hand and eat using my right, so I don’t have to keep placing the book down to use the cutlery. Maybe everyone does that. I don’t know. It works for me.
Who is your favourite book character that has stayed with you long after the book ended?
This is an easy one, if I may be permitted a play as opposed to a novel. Hamlet. Never has a fictional character been so cognisant of himself, of his superior intellect, or possess such a formidable command of language. All of this imprisons him utterly. Is he mad or just supernaturally clever? He’s a flawed character who famously defies interpretation and, when he falls, he takes almost the entire cast with him. I’ve been studying the book for a potential future project for the last six month or so and I know I’ll never get to the bottom of his complex character.
What is your favourite book quote?
I was flicking my way through a bookstore one day and happened across Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. After reading the first page it was impossible not to buy the book. Let’s do an experiment here. I’ll recite the section and your readers can try not to head straight over to Amazon and throw it into their virtual baskets.
“The candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door. He took off his hat and came slowly forward. The floorboards creaked under his boots. In his black suit he stood in the dark glass where the lilies leaned so palely from their waisted cutglass vase. Along the cold hallway behind him hung the portraits of forebears only dimly known to him all framed in glass and dimly lit above the narrow wainscoting. He looked down at the guttered candlesnub. He pressed his thumbprint in the warm wax pooled on the oak veneer. Lastly he looked at the face so caved and drawn among the folds of funeral cloth, the yellowed moustache, the eyelids paper thin. That was not sleeping. That was not sleeping.”
Huge thanks to @paulreadauthor and @Legend_Press it was an honour to be on your tour.
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