DiscoverBlackwell's Presents...Max Porter in conversation with Ali Shaw
Max Porter in conversation with Ali Shaw

Max Porter in conversation with Ali Shaw

Update: 2019-10-17


Blackwell's Broad Street was thrilled to be joined by author of the best-selling Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Max Porter. Max was in conversation with fellow author, Ali Shaw, discussing his latest book, Lanny.

There is a village outside London, no different from many others. Everyday lives conjure a tapestry of fabulism and domesticity. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England's mysterious past and its confounding present.

But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber and is listening, and watching. He is watching Mad Pete the village artist. He is listening to ancient Peggy gossiping at her gate, to families recently moved here and to families dead for generations. Dead Papa Toothwort hears them all as he searches, intently, for his favourite.

Looking for the boy.


‘It’s hard to express how much I loved Lanny. Books this good don’t come along very often. It’s a novel
like no other, an exhilarating, disquieting, joyous read. It will reach into your chest and take hold of your
heart. It’s a novel to press into the hands of everyone you know and say, read this.’

‘The writing is stunning and deeply affecting. The plot thunders along. This is a book that resolutely
refuses to be categorised but to get somewhere close, think: Under Milk Wood meets Broadchurch.’

‘It takes a special kind of genius to create something which is both so strange and yet so compulsive.’

Max Porter’s first novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers won the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. It has been sold in twenty-nine territories. Complicité and Wayward’s production of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy opened in Dublin in March 2018. Max lives in Bath with his family.

Ali Shaw is the author of The Trees, The Man who Rained and The Girl with Glass Feet, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize for first novels. He grew up in Dorset and studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. He has worked as a bookseller and at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. He lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

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Max Porter in conversation with Ali Shaw

Max Porter in conversation with Ali Shaw