A writer who divides her time between two "north poles" -- the north of England and North Carolina -- Sarah Hall is making her mark around the world with The Electric Michelangelo -- her second novel that was named a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.
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Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
Date of Birth:
January 6, 1974
Place of Birth:
Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
B.A., The University of Wales, Aberystwyth; M.A. in Creative Writing, St. Andrews University, Scotland
Commonwealth Best First Novel, 2002; Society of Authors, Betty Trask Award, 2002
|Our Book Club Pick|
|The Electric Michelangelo|
In The Electric Michelangelo, Hall brilliantly re-creates two seaside towns of bygone eras: a working-class resort in pre-World War II England, and the technicolor carnival of 1940s Coney Island. Opening on the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, on the remote north-west coast of England, Hall's debut is a novel of love, loss and the art of tattooing. Her pen is as vivid as the tattoos her hero creates -- and book clubs will find this an unforgettable study of beauty and pain.
Read an excerpt
|A Writer's Rituals|
|In our interview, Hall told us about some of her quirkier writing rituals. "I have a special relationship with the assistant Microsoft paperclip, and whichever helpful icon is up on screen -- I always have to wave at it and say thanks and goodbye when I’ve clicked the box to send it away -- it’s only polite," she explains. "There is also usually a cup of tea on the desk, teetering too close to the computer for safety. But, contrarily, I’m compulsive about saving my work every few sentences. The desk is an arena of risk and security! I can be a little bit nuts about tidying up before writing, too." |
In our interview, we asked Hall to tell us about some of her favorite reads. She selected The Crossing "because it seems to adhere to and simultaneously break the laws of language, and because the wolf walks right off the pages into the room where the reader is sitting."
|Coming Through Slaughter|
Hall also recommends Michal Ondaatje's Coming Through Slaughter, "because it’s unmitigated, constructive, intimate, and has the line, ‘Passing wet chicory that lies in the fields like the sky’ repeated a lot." Read our interview to learn more about Hall's best loved books.