It comes back to me that I married K. because he whistled Bach perfectly – that was, as I remember, the reason I gave myself and others. It’s as good a basis as any for marriage and I was not disappointed.
The last months of his life were a race against time, yet he maintained an abundant and cheerful correspondence, imagining, for example, a quiet life in an outback town, reading HEAT, drinking beer and brushing away flies.
The rain was merely a gauze, a softening of the early autumn air, but now and again Ruth saw a young mother dart out from her avidly talking group to bend over her child, to pull up and settle a hood of yellow, scarlet, or cobalt blue.
To place a bet on the Booker Prize, I had to leave the bright noise of Finchley Road and walk down lurid, carpeted stairs, past a row of old men whose faces were lit by flickering TV screens, and across to a perspex counter. A young woman with spiky pink hair stared at me impassively.
‘Anyone reading through my archives after my death will find detailed notes on the matters alluded to somewhat coyly just now, but no one should expect to receive after my death any message from the Other Side’ writes Gerald Murnane. ‘One life as a writer will have been enough.’
Eggplants first appeared in Guan Wei’s work more than a decade ago. They appeal to him for their colour, shape and sheen and because they have an element of danger. According to Guan Wei, eggplants are considered slightly poisonous in China, a liability eliminated by cooking them with garlic.