Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Earth Hums in b flat

I’m posting details of this book at Emily’s request – but please don’t feel pressure to read it yet. The background, for those who don’t know, is that I ‘know’ the author which is a first for a blog book. I’ve worked with Mari Strachan’s husband, Glenn, for many years (and indeed he was one of my students) and a nicer man you couldn’t wish for. How’s this for proof: they live on a farmstead they are renovating in N Wales, but when Glenn got the post of co-Course Director at London South Bank, they bought a narrow boat and moored it on the Thames, then spent alternate weeks in London and Wales. At his leaving do, Glenn explained that for the three years of his contract at LSBU Mari had migrated back and forth with him ‘and made sure milk wasn’t left behind in the Welsh fridge, but was there for us on the boat and vice versa’. Now it was pay back time and Mari’s career was to come first. How many men do you know who even realise someone does this and all the myriad tasks it represents? Anyway, whilst on the boat, Mari wrote much of The Earth Hums. She’s a librarian, but recently did a Master’s in creative writing and ended up with a two book deal from it and this is the first. Lots of info about her and it on her website, but this is what Glenn sent me:

Mari's book is doing very well, we don't know exactly how sales are doing yet, but it was a Waterstone's New Voice, it is an Amazon Rising Star (see reviews on Amazon, some people don't get it, but many do), she has performed at Literary Festivals in Glasgow, Laughne and Hay and it was Book at Bedtime on Radio 4. Sadly no major prizes yet, so I can't retire. It is now published in Australia, Holland, Turkey and the US and coming out in several other European countries. More info at

I’ve been in touch with her, and said I’d choose it for the blog, and she seemed happy to respond. Best if we see what we think about it first, so as we can hate it without compunction, but any questions or suitable posts I can pass on to her.