Yesterday i had the privilege of hearing Emma Donoghue for the second time. I had my copy of The Wonder along with my collection of her books (including Room and Slammerkin) signed at the Grimsby Author Series event in September. It was a pleasure to hear her introduce The Wonder and read a passage when the nurse was monitoring the fasting girl during the night shift. She commented on how enjoyable the Giller process had been and described the group of authors as “her gang” much to the delight of the audience.
This author returns to reading the works of Charles Dickens and has cycled through his collection three times. She appreciates that they are wonderfully complicated yet could pass on Barnaby Rudge. I am ashamed to say that I have had A Tale of Two Cities in my TBR pile for a LONG time that the only Dickens book that I have ever read is A Christmas Carol so I definitely have some reading to do! Since Donoghue did not learn about writing through formal eduction, she has certainly picked some formidable reading as inspiration. She noted that she has learned by “writing badly and rewriting”.
When asked about whether she gets “into” her characters she described that she has had times where she realizes the time, has to “shake it off, slam the laptop and run to the bus stop” to pick up the kids. She described writing as “free therapy” and when asked about wishing she could rewrite a previous book had the audience laughing when she commented that would be “like kissing an ex-girlfriend” and that she “would not change a line”.
I have enjoyed both events with Emma Donoghue and enjoyed the slowly building storyline of the Wonder which at the end is very difficult to put down!