Welcome to the world, The Life of Almost. Out 31st August with Patrician Press; launch this week at the wonderful Mr B’s Bookshop in Bath. If you would like to come, dm me on twitter @bookwormvaught or firstname.lastname@example.org! Or here: https://mrbsemporium.com/events/2018/05/anna-vaught/
The Life of Almost
So welcome to the world, my bard boy, my heart’s song. Novella, The Life of Almost, was published on Friday. News on forthcoming books follows soon; I’ve a lot happening!
(How about you take a look at my first book, too; it’s an autobiographical. A very black comedy about mental illness.)
But back to Almost….
Published August 31st, 2018
Prices: £9.00 (print). The ISBN is 9781999703028 (print) for book ordering and library use and the kindle edition is now up on Amazon, too. If you do buy from Amazon, note that owing to demand outstripping supply – BOO AND YAY – you can still buy there from Amazon affiliated sites such as The Great British Bookshop. AND there’s any number of wonderful independent bookshops. If they don’t stock it, they can order. Here’s a lovely spot – where I’ll be having my launch this week.
This is a dark comedy set in Wales and a spectral reworking of Dickens’s Great Expectations. Almost is a boy, brought up by his sister, Perfection. He is shrouded by bereavement and surrounded by the hauntings of his family’s undead. He plays in the sea caves, visits graves, amongst mermaids, longing mermen, morticians, houses that respire and a poltergeist moss that grabs your foot. A cast of family and friends drawn from sea caves, the embalming table, the graveyard and the dark Clandestine House, which respires heavily and in which time has stopped. And like Pip, he sings into the sea and likes to tell stories – the key theme of the book which is the story of his life, his struggles and triumphs. He is thwarted in love but understands – the night he meets a ragged convict, for the convict is a merman, come on land – that he has deep and commanding powers.
The poems are the author’s own.
“An exhilarating, exuberantly poetic book with such a wonderful cast of characters, I couldn’t bear for it to end! Like a song, a myth, a fairy tale – by a spellbinding writer.” Heidi James
“In The Life of Almost Anna Vaught has conjured a dark wonder. She writes a distinctive, thrillingly precarious prose, making and breaking its own rules as it glides between voices and stories and worlds with giddy pleasure and incalculable cunning. This short, concentrated novel certainly delights in the fantastic, but it is always rooted in the glorious thicknesses of language and landscape, the ripenesses of a blackberry hedge, the trembling density of a jellyfish.” Anthony Trevelyan
See Storgy review here: https://storgy.com/2018/07/19/book-review-the-life-of-almost-by-anna-vaught/
The first chapter of the book was published by the New Welsh Reader in May 2018. Here is the online edition: https://www.newwelshreview.com/article.php?id=2241
The Life of Almost, although not published until 31st August 2108, was nominated and voted for in The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize in July 2108. It received a great review from baldoukie:
“Poetic, comedic, a reworking of Great Expectations set in Pembrokeshire, this is a reading delight. A smorgasbord, satisfying at all levels. The child Almost, raised by sister Perfection, lives in an underworld of the dead, with their stories from the past, and with the living. Segueing between both, an interweaving of prose and poetry is the story of his life. The Llewhellin family (my favourite is Muffled Myfanwy Llewhellin), alive and dead, with Miss Davies and her adopted daughter Seren, with mermaids Nerys and Dilys, with the convict Derian Llewhellin, and many more.”
Here is the latest review from the inimitable Jackie Law:
The Life of Almost is a short novel and the second title published by Patrician Press. The first was Killing Hapless Ally, a novel about mental health.
AND IN A WEEK’S TIME, I will also hold a stock of copies, signed and dispatched in 24 hours. Get ’em quickly. £11.50 including postage.