Persona Non Granta


“Welcome to Granta’s Most Promising Writers Under Forty event. Oh, you’re one of the writers? So pleased to meet you. I’ll take your coat. It’s just through there.” Writer steps through darkened entrance, topples into chasm.

Until recently that was my attitude to Granta’s famous list of bright young literary things. I used to scan the handsome, healthy faces of the chosen ones and, weeping with envy, plan to murder them with my bare hands, so help me god. That is no longer the case however given they’ve had the good taste to include the wonderful Jenni Fagan on the list this time around. If you haven’t read her novel The Panopticon, it’s exceptional. There are inevitably so many great writers left out (Lars Iyer, Christiana Spens, Lee Rourke, Ben Myers, Adam Biles…) but it’s a delight to see someone with real talent be recognised. She’s just been interviewed in The Scotsman on the origins of her novel and a hint of what’s to come. There’s also a great portrait of her today in the New York Times. If you’re like me and you tend to mainly read old dead bastards, it’s quite rare to see the work of a great writer unfold in real-time. Now’s your chance.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Persona Non Granta

  1. joseph ridgwell says:

    Reblogged this on JOSEPH RIDGWELL and commented:
    Miss Urchin Belle on the rise…

  2. sfhopkins says:

    On the strength of this, I have ordered a copy of The Panopticon. I look forward to reading it.

    • sfhopkins says:

      I’m halfway through it (“it” being The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan). It is simply astoundingly good. Thank you for introducing me to this book and this writer. She’s a wonderful talent, a wonderful voice.

  3. Pingback: Persona Non Granta « sfhopkins

  4. delighted you’re liking it, it’s a great book (& the beginning of a long and fascinating literary career I hope). she’s an excellent poet too. actually, she’s on wordpress – The Dead Queen of Bohemia

    • sfhopkins says:

      Thank you for that–I’m now following her and I’ve left a fan message. THIS fan message:
      A post by Darran Anderson alerted me to Jenni Fagan and The Panopticon. It is the most spectacular direct-hit first novel I have read since Hilary Mantel published Every Day is Mother’s Day. Sure, Jenni Fagan is a best young British novelist–how could she not be? She’s a best novelist of any age from anywhere. I read this book with that fabulous feeling you get maybe once in five years–that here is a novelist whose work is going to enrich your life for years to come. I just don’t have enough superlatives to say how good this writer is.

  5. I love that you admit to ferocious envy — but cheerlead the ones you admire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s