Prolific novelist William Boyd at Marlborough LitFest

on 24 September 2018.

This month Marlborough plays host to its annual Literary festival, attracting prolific authors from across the globe. Next Saturday the 29th of September, international award-winning author William Boyd will grace Marlborough College as he celebrates the publication of his new novel ‘Love is Blind’.

Ahead of this exciting event, White Horse Bookshop asked William Boyd to offer a list of suggested reading on the themes and places which appear in the book, to which he has kindly obliged.

In his new novel William Boyd draws once more on the themes he has made his own: of love, of the Scottish diaspora, of the response of ordinary people to extraordinary circumstances. In this historical romance Brodie Moncur, a piano-tuner, travels through Scotland, France and Russia in the early years of the C20th, meeting and working with musicians, intellectuals, anthropologists, and the love of his life. The novel is brilliantly evocative of character and place – clever, though not off-puttingly so. One of its pleasures lies in identifying the range of other works which have inspired this humane, intelligent and kind narrative, and to which he playfully refers – though if the reader misses the allusions it in no way hinders the enjoyment.

You can find William Boyd’s full reading list below, all the titles are on show at The White Horse Bookshop, as are tickets to his talk on Saturday 29th September at 7.45pm.

THE LIST

Robert Louis Stevenson THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE
Perhaps the least read of RLS's "Scottish" novels but it tackles Scottish myths head-on

James Hogg CONFESSIONS OF A JUSTIFIED SINNER
The strangest classic Scottish novel. Set the bar high for demonic possession.

Anton Chekhov. COLLECTED STORIES
The greatest short story writer ever. A direct route to the Russian mind.

Vladimir Nabokov THE GIFT
A brilliant novel about Russian intellectuals

Turgenyev.  FATHERS AND SONS
A masterpiece of 19th century Russian Literature

Andrei Bely  PETERSBURG
The great novel about Russia's most mesmerising city

Alfred Brendel A PIANIST's A –Z
A great pianist's charming musings on his life and work

William Gerhardie FUTILITY
A brilliant novel. An Englishman's exploration of the Russian mind

Haruki Murakami ABSOLUTELY ON MUSIC
Murukami in conversation with Seiji Ozama. Fascinating.

J M Coetzee. THE MASTER OF ST PETERSBURG
Coetzee's fascinating take on Dostoevsky and his city.

Charles Rosen PIANO NOTES
Wonderfully intelligent analyses of the classical music world

Anthony Storr MUSIC AND THE MIND
A psychiatrist looks at how music works on us.

Donald Rayfield CHEKHOV
; A LIFE The magisterial, unsurpassable biography of Chekhov. Wholly compelling and revelatory

Claire Harman ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON RLS
— possibly Scotland's greatest and most influential writer

Catriona Kelly ST PETERSBURG
A stunning history of this stunning city

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