Barry Graham the Scrivener

fiction

Bookshelf with copies of Le Champion Nu by Barry Graham

In the events I did while in France, it was common for people not just to ask me if The Champion’s New Clothes/Le Champion Nu is autobiographical, but to seem to want it to be. (It isn’t.)

My Scottish and American novels have one thing in common: they’re the stories of people and places, not a person, and not this person. It’s currently fashionable to talk about “the right to tell your own story” — but what if, like me, you don’t want to tell your own story, because you don’t find it interesting? And “the right to tell your own story” isn’t a right, because it’s dependent on people being interested in listening to the story you’re telling. Otherwise, you’re not telling a story, just talking to yourself, and even you might not be listening.

#writing #books #fiction #AutoFiction #OwnVoices #BarryGrahamAuthor #LeChampionNu

—Barry Graham

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(from Scumbo: Tales of Love, Sex and Death)

She’d been working there for about three weeks before my visit. I didn’t want to go there. I wanted to meet her in a cafe, but she’d lost her driver’s licence, and the bus took too long to get to the centre of town. She’d have had barely any time to eat and talk with me before she had to head back there.

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(from Scumbo: Tales of Love, Sex and Death)

I know people who like being at home when it’s raining. Sitting in front of a fire, dry and warm as the rain throws itself against the windows in spiteful frustration.

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Drawing of old woman in chair knitting

Tam was always afraid of ghosts, but he didn’t want to hide from them.

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(from Scumbo: Tales of Love, Sex and Death)

“I don’t know

How it’s going to end

But I hope that we

Can meet again”

—Shonen Knife

I waited outside the theatre, but they didn’t show up. I was a few minutes late, but I’d have expected Andy to wait for me. It would be at least another thirty minutes before the movie started. Maybe Leanne had gotten impatient and dragged him inside.

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Authors are, with few exceptions, worthless scum. But, knowing that, even I was flaggergasted recently when I picked up a collection of stories by Chekhov, with an introduction by Richard Ford, and found the book had a biography of Ford... but not of Chekhov.

One of the few exceptions to the rule of authorial narcissism is the Icelandic novelist and poet Sjon, who, as editor of the Nordic writing anthology Dark Blue Winter Overcoat, didn't include any of his own work.

#chekhov #richardford #narcissism #authors #writers #sjon #books #fiction #barrygrahamauthor

—Barry Graham

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Holding Back the Dawn is a short film from 2001, from a script by me based on a short story in my 1992 collection Get Out As Early As You Can. Shot in Phoenix, Arizona, it was directed by MV Moorhead, who also plays Tom. It depicts the last night of a relationship, and the game of psychological cat-and-mouse between Tom and Kate, who plans to leave him in the morning.

#shortfilm #indiefilm #fiction #barrygrahamauthor #mvmoorhead #heartbreak #relationships #emotionalabuse

—Barry Graham

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The Guardian asks: “Are novelists obliged to tell the story of their private life?”

​“Write what you know” is a maxim preached to aspiring writers.

I get emails from single fathers who tell me The Book of Man captured their experience. I have no children. I get emails from people who’ve been hospitalised for depression saying the same thing about the same book. I have never been depressed, and when I wrote that book I had never been hospitalised.

I have also never been a young Dutch woman, nor a Mexican-American drug-dealer and murderer, nor a murderous paedophile, nor a female ex-cop from an upper-class background, nor a former U.S. soldier turned handyman, nor a lounge musician who commits armed robberies.

War veterans have said that the book that best represented their experience was The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, who never saw combat.

Bram Stoker wasn’t a vampire. Stephen King doesn’t hang out in drains, wearing a clown suit and luring children to their doom. ​ Experience is a poor substitute for imagination and empathy.

#writing #books #fiction #AutoFiction #OwnVoices #BarryGrahamAuthor

—Barry Graham

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