Forgotten Authors: The Cult Spreads
I had never intended to produce my ‘Invisible Ink’ columns in the Independent on Sunday as a book, but Mark Pilkington at the superbly offbeat Strange Attractor Press suggested that readers might like a guide of forgotten authors in a single handy little volume.
One criticism of the book has been that the entries on each author are too short, but while I could have opened them out, we would never have been able to get the volume published so easily – and more importantly, I wanted to whet your appetites for authors you hadn’t come across, not give you complete outlines of their work. Reading is about the joy of surprise and discovery.
So I’m very pleased that enterprising branches of Waterstones have been picking up the torch and pointing customers toward some of the rarer books on their shelves. In Brighton, this display has appeared, offering a good selection of the authors mentioned in the book.
I hope that we’ll produce a second volume, as I’m uncovering all kinds of astonishing authors who deserve to have a readership. It’s hard to find such writers by yourself without a bit of guidance, as many aren’t kept on shelves due to lack of space. One problem is deciding who is actually ‘forgotten’. The rule of thumb is that they’re out of print, by one person’s favourite author will mean nothing to someone else.
Recently a reader wrote to ask me to include Flann O’Brien. Now, I regard him as far from forgotten, and his books are all in print, but how many are aware of this dazzling Irish author?
All suggestions for inclusion to the usual place.