Graeme Friedman is the author of Madiba’s Boys, The Piano War, and The Fossil Artist (shortlisted for a 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize). In his new book, It Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard: the Secrets to Finding and Keeping Intimacy, co-written with Joanne Fedler, he shares the insights he has gleaned during his 30-year career as a psychotherapist.
Falling in love with a particular author has its pitfalls. Like actual lovers, expecting the honeymoon to last forever can be disastrous. After reading a series of exquisite Michael Ondaatje novels, the author’s Divisadero almost made me sue for divorce. So it was with mixed feelings that I picked up his latest offering, The Cat’s Table. It’s a story that flirts with autobiography, of a young boy’s journey aboard a passenger ship, a “castle that was to cross the sea”, from Sri Lanka to England in the 1950s. With relief and pleasure, I am finding plenty of what I love about Ondaatje’s writing: his enchanting mix of the familiar and the exotic, his mesmerising capacity to observe and find poetry in the smallest detail. The novel doesn’t quite match the startling beauty of his earlier work, but it’s more than worthy company to take to bed.
- The Fossil Artist was published by Jacana
- It Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard: Secrets to Finding and Keeping Intimacy by Joanne Fedler, Graeme Friedman
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