Snapshot: Wolf in White Van

I am going to have the great pleasure of talking to five brilliant authors this weekend, through my chairing duties at the Perth Writers Festival. (I love my job!)

GR47_front2-227x346On Saturday, I’ll be chairing a session called ‘Fantastic Tales’ featuring Paddy O’Reilly, Diana Sweeney and Porochista Khakpour; on Sunday, ‘In Isolation’ with Robyn Cadwallader and John Darnielle. I’m also taking part in a panel on ‘Art and Innovation on the Periphery’ on Friday, with Brooke Davis, Peter Newman and Griffith Review editor Julieanne Schultz; a story of mine, ‘Nullius’, is in the new ‘Looking West’ issue of Griffith Review. Session details here.

This snapshot is a brief extract from the beginning of John Darnielle’s wonderful debut novel, Wolf in White Van (Scribe, 2014).

9781925106237On the wall to the right, as you head toward my room, there’s a small bookcase with a painting above it, a western scene: hills and trees, a lake. A blue and green vista near sundown, a silent place. But if you look harder, or happen to turn your head at the right moment as you pass, you see figures, human figures, on what you might otherwise take for an empty ridge. It’s like an optical illusion, this hunting party on the near hill, their curving hats dark in the orange dusk: they come out of hiding if you look at the empty scene long enough. They were always there on my journey, poppping up in the same place each time I’d drift by in my half-sleep. They never lost their power to surprise, just by being there, a little smoke rising from somewhere within their three-strong party, their brushstroke rifles resting lightly on their shoulders.





Filed under Snapshots

10 responses to “Snapshot: Wolf in White Van

  1. I’m really interested in Wolf in White Van; I heard Darnielle interviewed on KCRW and it sounds fascinating.

  2. So much to be enriched by. Just wonderful. Best wishes for it all and I look forward to reading your story Amanda…congrats…

  3. reidonwriting

    Thanks Amanda. Plenty to look forward to next weekend. A few days ago I spent a while browsing a bookshop copy of Wolf in White Van before putting it aside as too contrived for my taste, but I see why it appeals to many. Reviews on the Goodreads site range from deliriously enthusiastic affirmations to head-shaking thumbs-downs. Perhaps I’ll pick it up again…

    • Yes, it should be a stimulating weekend, and I see you have two excellent sessions, Ian (I hope to be at one of them).
      I love that festivals offer new experiences and cross all tastes. I hope you give Wolf in White Van a try. I think it’s beautifully done, not at all contrived.

  4. There’s so much to choose from at this year’s festival, so many places I want to be all at the same time! I’m very much looking forward to it and I’m sure I’ll be in at least one of your sessions!

    • I agree, Louise! The concurrent sessions make for a wonderfully broad and varied festival but it’s oh so hard to decide which one to go to. No doubt I’ll see you around somewhere 🙂

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