All good things come to an end, and the last of Jon McGregor's letters in our hand-written, interview-by-post has reached destination Donegal. We've been highlighting his second novel, 'So Many Ways To Begin', because of its Donegal setting, and hopefully readers locally and afar will be inspired to read this rather wonderful novel: resonant with themes of emigration, identity and the changing nature of work, crammed with memorable characters and complex relationships, subtly conveyed and beautifully written.
There is good reason for conducting the interview by post, apart from giving me a break from bills and junk mail. In postcard number 4, I disingenuously asked Jon about his latest project, and he replied:
" 'The Letters Page' is a new literary journal in letters, published by the University of Nottingham, exploring the idea of letter writing as a literary practice and a personal writing form. Our first issue, including letters from Colum McCann, Magnus Mills and one Ann Hull...."
I'm stopping there because the link he gives to the brand-new web page doesn't seem to be up yet. I'll tell you instead that he prefaced the reply above with the phrase, "Ha! Funny you should ask..." thus exposing my artifice, as all good writers should.
If you look here there is information about the first issue and how to subscribe to the newsletter. It will also tell you how to submit a letter of your own, for publication in the next edition. I hear that Kevin Barry is doing so. Why don't you write to The Letters Page? I did, and look what happened.
Submissions have to be handwritten on A4 paper. If you think that's tough, look at the picture below and marvel at the amount of writing Jon fitted onto these post-it notes...
I would like to thank Jon McGregor for all his good-natured and courteous tolerance..