Friday, 24 September 2010

When Can Fiction Overstep The Mark?


I’ve long been fascinated by Richey Edwards- the fiercely intelligent, glitter drenched guitarist from The Manic Street Preachers who disappeared at the age of 27 on the brink of an American tour. I was therefore intrigued to find out this week that a novel has been written describing Richey’s life from his own perspective. ‘Richard: A Novel’ is being released in October, and is already courting some controversy. Nicky Wire, the bass player from The Manic Street Preacher’s this week wrote in the NME that he found the book ‘too upsetting to finish’ and that ‘when you make fiction out of someone you forget that they’re a real human being’.

My gut instinct is to agree. Though I applaud Myer’s attempt to present Richey as not just a rock star, but as an academic and young man, will this novel not just contribute to the myths that already surround him, and therefore make it harder to have a clear idea of what Richey was really like? Paradoxically, it seems that the more that is written about people who are not around to give their own account, the more they seem to become shrouded in mystery.

Urban myths and popularly used images of them become our perception of what they were as people, more than being mere ‘press shots’ taken at brief moments in their life. Their very identity just becomes another part of the ether, and increasingly more difficult to define. I remember reading an extract from Richey’s diary in Select Magazine in the mid nineties, when he described how he’d ‘rather fall in love with a washing machine than a woman’. Reading an extract from Myer’s undeniably well written novel this morning I could not help but wish that Richey had written an account of his life from his own perspective, so that some of the countless questions about him could have been answered in his own inimitable voice…

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Intimates

I'm very excited that today Legend Press have announced the release of my first novel 'The Intimates'- which is due for publication in early 2011. They describe the novel as 'depicting an evening with a group of eclectic friends, gradually uncovering the ugly and brutally honest truths that can go unmentioned for so long. With Guy's unique writing style, the characters unravel before the reader with a sense of almost unsettling realism.'

Having worked with Lauren, Tom and Lucy on the collections 'Eight Rooms' and 'Ten Journeys' I'm very excited to be able to continue doing so in the future. They're a very dedicated, exciting and groundbreaking publishing house, and it's great to be on their books alongside such fantastic authors as Zoe Jenny, Bonnie Greer and Gary Murning.

For more information check out Legend Press at-

http://forward.legendpress.co.uk/mainsite/2010/09/announcing-the-intimates-by-guy-mankowski.html

Ps this Saturday I'll be joined by Andy Kirby for the final book signing of Ten Journeys at Waterstones, Darlington between 12 and 3pm.