The writer Lynsey May

Friday 6th March 2020

Q1) The first book you ever loved

I know there were plenty I loved before, but I think the first book I obsessed over was The Reluctant Vampire by Eric Morecambe (some point before the age of 10 but I can’t remember exactly). I named my pet goldfish Valentine after the protagonist.

Q2) The book I have read more than any other

This might have to be a Christmas Carol (a hardback illustrated by Liz Summers) purely because I read it fully several Christmas Eve’s in a row when I was so wee I couldn’t sleep for the fizzing excitement.

Q3) A book that you despise

I decided to read Ann Rynd’s Atlas Shrugged in my twenties, having basically completely missed everything she stood for and only knowing that this was a book people talked about. I have never hated anything so much. I hate-read it to the end. I was more persistent then.

Q4) A book full of beautiful writing

I couldn’t adore All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews any more than I do. It’s so deft and completely deceptive in its clarity. Having since read her other books and the range of her style, I admire the writing in Sorrows all the more.

Q5) The book you've been meaning to read for years, but haven't

War and Peace. I even bought a digital copy to go with the paperback just in case that helped. It hasn’t.

Q6) The book you're reading currently

I’m just starting Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, which has been on my ‘to read’ list for what must be years now. Finally snagged a copy with birthday book vouchers (thanks, Kate!).

Q7) Your favourite short story

This is tough because there are tons and I’m cheating here but ... I’m currently in love with Amy Bloom’s Where the God of Love Hangs Out. Helen McClory’s collection Mayhem & Death is delicious and Sarah Hall always sucks me in, I can’t wait to get my hands on her new one, Sudden Traveller.

Q8) Your all-time favourite novel

How can anyone pick an all-time favourite? There are some I’ve loved a long time (does nostalgia play a part?) and others I’ve only just discovered (but will they stand the test of time?) and so many just waiting to be loved. From The Catcher in the Rye in high school to Behind the Scenes at the Museum soon after, to We Are the Drowned, Carsten Jensen, and All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld in more recent years, there are too many. I can’t pit them against each other. ●

Lynsey May lives, loves and writes in Edinburgh. Her short fiction has been published in various journals and anthologies, including The Stinging Fly, Gutter and Banshee. She’s never far from a cup of coffee and her bag is always too heavy.
t: @LynseyMay


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