Max Porter: Lanny
Max Porter's first book, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, was an astonishing work about despair, love, memory ... and Ted Hughes.
A strange and beautiful novel of poetry and prose, it told the story of a widower and his two small boys who are visited in their grief by Crow, a self-described 'sentimental bird', and a trickster presence in the household. It won the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, the 2017 Europese Literatuurprijs and was adapted for the stage in a production starring Cillian Murphy. Critics praised the book for its ambition, sensitivity and originality.
Porter's new book, Lanny follows up in the same experimental vein, again imbuing domestic dramas with magical elements and looming mythical, malevolent figures. It's a novel about childhood and creativity, filled with suspense, dread and hope.
In conversation with Ronnie Scott for our Mayhem series, Porter discusses fiction, fabulism, literary heroes and literary risks.
Max Porter's debut Grief Is the Thing with Feathers — part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief — was published to widespread acclaim in 2015. It has been sold in 28 territories and saw Max win the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award. It was also shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. Complicité and Wayward’s theatre production of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers has been staged in Dublin and London, and had its Off-Broadway premiere in New York in April of this year. Porter's latest novel is Lanny.
Ronnie Scott is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at RMIT University and a contributor to many local and international journals, newspapers and magazines. In 2007 he founded the Lifted Brow, a freeform literary magazine. His novel The Adversary will be published by Penguin Random House in 2020.