Monday, May 5, 2014

Tania Unsworth

Tania Unsworth is a British writer living in Boston. She is the author of two books for adults published in the UK.

The One Safe Place is her first book for children.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Unsworth's reply:
What I’m reading usually depends on what else is happening in my life. At the moment I’m feeling stressed (a book that’s turning out harder to write than I thought) and at these times I turn to what I call “comfort reading”; certain books that I have read and reread throughout my life and which provide me with mysterious reassurance. Examples include TH White’s The Once and Future King, the novels of PG Wodehouse, anything written by Barbara Pym and all twenty astounding volumes of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series.

Right now I’m traveling again with the Captain and his complicated companion through volume 18, The Yellow Admiral. Taken individually, the books are rambling, apparently plot-less works, crammed with largely incomprehensible (at least to me) sailing terms, long descriptions of complicated battles at sea (the books are set during the Napoleonic Wars) and a bewildering host of characters, geographical settings, historical details and facts about flora and fauna. But taken together, the books make up one complete novel, as long and as full of marvels as a trip to the far side of the world itself. Written in beautifully spare and elegant prose, the adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin (surely as iconic a pair as any in literature) are described with such humor, depth and sheer intelligence that I find something fresh and astonishing each time I return to them.
Visit Tania Unsworth's website.

The Page 69 Test: The One Safe Place.

--Marshal Zeringue