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harrietpicHarriet Lane’s debut Alys, Always was a   You Book Club choice, longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and shortlisted for the Writers’ Guild Best Fiction Book award. Her second novel Her is out now, published by W&N. Little, Brown will publish Her in the US in 2015.

 

On lessons learned

‘Most of my classmates hated Observations (so boring!) but I loved them. I loved the discipline: the accumulation of detail and the curious heady pleasure of finding exactly the right word, the only word that would fit, like a key in a lock.’ More on Bookanista

On fear and fiction

‘Children ask, occasionally, but I don’t think an adult ever has. What do you see with that eye – the bad one? I say: well, you know when you go into a very dark room and shut the door and close your eyes? That. That’s what I see.

More in the Guardian Review

On the writing of Her

‘And then when the drugs, incredibly, worked (they don’t always), when the text started re-appearing on the page, I felt a strong desire to get writing, partly because I knew I didn’t have endless time, and partly because I wanted to lose myself in another story. I needed to get out of my head, with its rather grim and sad preoccupations, and try out someone else’s for a change.’

More on the W&N blog here

On the peculiar charms of N19

‘It feels both economical and satisfying to put places so familiar I had almost stopped noticing them into my fiction: the stepped terraces of Highgate New Town, the arctic cliff of the Whittingon’s facade after dark, Pond Square’s dappled shade on a hot summer afternoon.’ See more at kentishtowner

The Independent on Her: ‘There is forensic social observation here’

‘Harriet Lane is a deft conjurer of menacing middle-class scenarios. In her 2012 debut, Alys, Always, the unfulfilled Frances exploits a car crash victim’s dying words to insinuate her way into the lives of the dead woman’s literary family. It earned Lane comparisons with Patricia Highsmith and Anita Brookner.
‘This second novel also involves envious women pressing their noses up to the window of another’s glossier-seeming life. In Her, a taut revenge drama, the same events are recounted in alternate chapters from the separate perspectives of two women in their late 30s who have met by apparent accident.’

Read the full review here