This week our Programming Assistant, Cindy Pang, has been reading Emberton. This novel was written by Peter Norman, and published in March by Douglas & McIntyre. Peter Norman will be appearing at this year’s festival on September 21st, reading at the Great Books Marquee.
Is nothing sacred? If you can’t trust language, what can you trust? Poet Peter Norman’s first novel, Emberton, is a gothic romp through language, where etymologists deceive and lie about word origins, publishing house marketing departments are full of bizarre and self-destructive employees, who often vanish altogether, and all the while something sinister thrives on the power of words.
Take one illiterate protagonist, Lance Blunt, one eerie dictionary publisher, Emberton Publishing, a beautiful (but realistically pale) etymologist, Elena, and a malevolent entity that is bent on draining the world of human language, and you have a comic literary gothic novel aimed at lovers of books and language who also appreciate a dose of genre and a dash of humour. Think Jasper Fforde meets Eats, Shoots & Leaves meets Frankenstein meets Douglas Adams.
Q&A with Cindy
What drew you to the book?
“As a bibliophile and lover of all things creepy, I was instantly drawn to the idea of a mystery revolving around the odd goings-on of a sinister publishing house.”
Did you enjoy the book?
“I absolutely loved it! Norman’s writing is incredibly rich and expressive, and he manages to create such an engrossing read that I honestly had to stop a few times and remind myself that I wasn’t really trapped inside Emberton Tower and that the fate of the Word didn’t actually rest in my hands.”
Would you recommend the book?
“Of course! Emberton is a wonderful debut novel by a gifted poet and, like the fictional Emberton Dictionary, the story “that lives inside [the] book” is sure to thrill any reader.”