Finding new authors: Kit de Waal

Over a period of many years, I have accrued quite a list of favourite authors from a wide variety of genres. Sometimes, it can be quite a long wait before new novels appear and I am always on the look-out for new writers to add to my list. It doesn’t happen very often, but, just this week I discovered Kit de Waal and have already devoured two of her books.

de Waal has an interesting background in that she identifies as British/Irish, having been brought up by an Irish mother and an African-Caribbean bus driver father in Birmingham among the Irish community, and has recalled: “We were the only black children at the Irish Community Centre and the only ones with a white mother at the West Indian Social Club.”

The books I have read so far, My Name is Leon and The Trick to Time, are different to my usual genres. Reading the initial chapters, they seem quite cosy (usually anathema to me) but build slowly and surely to an ending which is both surprising and entirely logical. Sounds odd? Read them. You won’t be disappointed. Click the links for full synopsis and reviews.

She’s definitely on my list!

We need to talk, Kris

The old Silver Tongued Devil himself

Kris Kristofferson has been my favourite singer / poet / writer for most of my adult life. His songs are often whispering along in the background while I’m writing or working on my photographs. I know all the words – they’ve become background noise. Today, though, the words to When I Loved Her began to register in a way they never did before. Kris ends the song with the words, “And I’ll never understand … why I lost her”. So, I thought I ought to help him out.

Well, she didn’t look as pretty as some others I have known
You just called her ugly or, at best, plain
And she wasn’t good at conversation when we were alone
You mean she was boring or you just didn’t listen?
But she had a way of making me believe that I belonged
So she stroked your ego?
And it felt like coming home … when I found her
Were you missng your mother?

‘Cause she seemed to be so proud of me just walking holding hands
It was nice basking in her admiration
And she didn’t think that money was the measure of a man
Didn’t have to buy her presents or take her out
And we seemed to fit together when I held her in my arms
That’s nice, particularly as she was so undemanding
And it left me feeling warm … when I loved her

‘Cause she brightened up the day like the early morning sun
Always agreed with you, made breakfast?
And she made what I was doing seem worthwhile
Praised your work, bigged you up
It’s the closest thing to living that I guess I’ve ever known
Yup, you really had it made
And it made me want to smile … when I loved her

I know some of us were born to cast our fortune to the winds
Is this where you do something for her?
And I guess I’m bound to travel down a road that never ends
No, we’re still talking about you
But I know I’ll never look upon the likes of her again
Why on earth would she leave, oh wait ….
And I’ll never understand … why I lost her

Found and Lost, like something from the Lost Property Office; never once mentioned by name; only referred to as an appendage to Kris. She didn’t get lost, she ran for the hills.