Reading

  • Image: detail from 'The Many', Wyl Menmuir, published by Salt

Word Nights | Truth and Lies | Wyl Menmuir and Alex Wade

Novelists trade in deception: they create worlds populated by imaginary characters and often use techniques that confuse and confound. Debut novelists Wyl Menmuir and Alex Wade explore themes of truth and lies in very different ways.

Wyl Menmuir’s debut, The Many, was long-listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. It is the story of a man who moves into an abandoned house on the edge of an isolated coastal fishing village, trying to make a home for himself and his wife. Gradually he enters into an unspoken conflict with the villagers and soon starts to question what has brought him to this place. What emerges is an unsettling tale that explores the impact of loss and the devastation that hits when the foundations on which we rely are swept away.

Alex Wade is a journalist and established non-fiction writer whose debut novel Flack’s Last Shift was published in 2016. Inspired by Alex’s time working as a lawyer on Fleet Street, it tells the story of a night-lawyer and his attempts to bring down the editor of a national newspaper. It reveals the inner workings of the worlds of both the press and the law, two professions seemingly obsessed with our subjective responses to truth. As Flack battles with motivations set deep within his past, Alex explores how the stories we tell ourselves serve to justify the decisions we make in our lives.

Wyl and Alex will be in conversation with Colin Midson, Associate Director of the Port Eliot festival. They will read from their work and discuss the process of getting their books published: from the writing and the struggle to get a publisher interested to the day of publication.

The public programme at CAST is supported by Arts Council England, as part of the Groundwork programme 2016-18, which has been awarded Ambition for Excellence funding. Ambition for Excellence is a new programme aimed at stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England. The fund aims to have significant impact on the growth of an ambitious international-facing arts infrastructure, especially outside London.

‘Word Nights’ is a series of occasional literary evenings programmed by Colin Midson.

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