Thursday 14 March 2019

A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther @ellieanstruther @saltpublishing BLOG TOUR #MyLifeInBooks #APerfectExplanation @midaspr

Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, Eleanor Anstruther’s debut is a fictionalised account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892–1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll.
Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood. Here, in the pages of this extraordinary book where the unspoken is conveyed with vivid simplicity, lies a story that will leave you reeling.

A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther is published by Salt Publishing on 15 March 2019.

As part of the blog tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are important to her in My Life In Books

My Life In Books - Eleanor Anstruther

The Fifth Child – Doris Lessing
This short, and perfectly formed novel remains one of my all time favourites. It wastes no time, the chill creeping in before you, or they, know it.

The Collector – John Fowles
I was absolutely gripped by this, the skill of entrapment; reader and characters, both. Inescapably dark and brilliant.

Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
George Eliot is a must for any writer. The length, breadth and depth that she achieves, the complexity of multiple lines woven into one perfect tapestry. So hard to choose which of her novels has influenced me most. I had to stick a pin in it. It could have been any of them.

Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
One of the best endings I’ve ever read. It leaves you knowing what is coming, with nothing you can do about it.

The Portrait Of A Lady – Henry James
Like Eliot, Henry James is a must for anyone learning to write. He achieves shifts in perspective, from internal dialogue to narrator with unparalleled skill, while seamlessly handling the complexities of human nature. If you want to write, study Henry James.

My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is doing something that no other writer I’ve come across attempts; the brevity of her language bellies the sheer art of telling a story in the spaces where one sentence ends and another begins. Everything she writes is wonderful, but this is the best.

Angel – Elizabeth Taylor
Woefully underrated, this novel sums up her acute, unflinching observations of humans at their worst, and most damaged. The female protagonist of the title is an anti-hero to beat all others.

Orlando – Virginia Woolf
Impossible for me to make a list of my life in books without including Virginia Woolf, and this so influential, that I had to tear up everything I’d written before, and start again.

Nora Webster – Colm Tóibín
If you want to learn how to write quietly, and without pretension, read this. Colm Tóibín just gets on with it. He doesn’t look up to see how you’re doing, and nor will you.

Vanity Fair – William Thackery
Acerbic, pointed, sharp. Very little, at heart, has changed between the mores of our society, and the one he here lays bare.

Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
How to write funny, and awful, and can’t bear to look. Satire at its best.

Pet Sematary – Stephen King
Superb, shocking, the unravelling of sanity before your eyes. Perhaps it’s the subject matter that has kept it from winning literary prizes, or snobbery. He is an absolute master.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Leads the way in dystopian literature, a stand out premise and perfect ending.

She Came To Stay – Simone de Beauvoir
A story of love and betrayal, art and obsession, and contains the line “…we seek to create the exact reproduction of something that doesn’t exist…” I’ve never come across a better description of writing.

Other People – Martin Amis
This short early novel by Martin Amis achieves that quality of so many others listed here; contained, to the point, precise and with an ending that eats its own tail. Genius

Eleanor Anstruther - March 2019 

Eleanor Anstruther was born in London, educated in Westminster and read History of Art at Manchester University before travelling the world. 
Eleanor has ridden a motorbike from Mysuru in Karnataka to Manali in the Himalayas, has set up a commune in Surrey, ran a clinic for a Shaman and organised the building of the largest stone circle since Stonehenge. 

She currently lives in Surrey with her twin boys.

Instagram: @eleanoranstruther

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