Article: Breaking into the middle of the story. . .0
May 17, 2023 by Lydia Syson
I was delighted to read Paloma Fresno-Calleja’s very perceptive analysis of Mr Peacock’s Possessions in the journal Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. In her own words:
Abstract: This article analyses Lydia Syson’s Mr Peacock’s Possessions as a neo-Victorian Robinsonade. In order to assess the contemporary pertinence of the format, I organize my discussion around the notion of un/settlement, a concept which applies to both the frustrated process of colonial domestication of the island depicted in the novel and to the author’s project of writing back to the narrative and ideological codes of the Victorian Robinsonade. The term “un/settlement” is also useful to explore the novel’s engagement with the violent colonial history of the region, which resurfaces in the present forcing the characters (and the author) to recover and narrate those stories and thus settle their debt with that past. The article starts by contextualizing Syson’s novel in relation to a long tradition of castaway narratives, and then moves on to discuss the novel in the light of neo-Victorian and postcolonial preoccupations with the possibilities and limitations of historical revision and reparation.
Paloma Fresno-Calleja (2023) Breaking into the Middle of the Story: Reading Lydia Syson’s Mr Peacock’s Possessions as a Neo-Victorian Robinsonade, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, DOI: 10.1080/00111619.2022.2162366
Category News | Tags: Castaway narratives, Colonial history, Critique, Mr Peacock's Possessions, Neo-Victorian, Robinsonade
Writers’ Rights and Human Rights0
July 16, 2018 by Lydia Syson
Here’s a link to a piece I’ve written for the Historical Writers’ Association excellent online magazine, Historia about tackling slavery in fiction, and thinking through the risks of cultural appropriation. Comments are most welcome.
You can join HWA here and subscribe to receive the latest Historia articles and reviews in your inbox here.
And if you’ve not yet got a copy of Mr Peacock’s Possessions, and/or are setting off somewhere for the summer with minimal luggage and don’t want to be weighed down by a hardback, however beautiful, until the end of July only you can buy it the ebook to read on your phone, tablet or Kindle for a mere £1.49. It’s one of Amazon’s monthly deals.
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Reports from Raoul – 30.2622° S 178.5948° E1
June 14, 2018 by Lydia Syson
I’ve been spending the week going through my notes and listening to sound recordings made on the HMNZS Canterbury in the Kermadecs earlier this year, reliving some magnificent moments as I write a number of features for various newspapers and magazines both on the expedition and the human history of Raoul Island. keep reading
Category News | Tags: Experiencing Marine Reserves, Kermadecs, Mr Peacock's Possessions, New Zealand, NZDF, Ocean Sanctuary, Rangitahua, Raoul, Raoul Island, Sir Peter Blake Trust, WWF
Heading towards publication day. . .1
May 3, 2018 by Lydia Syson
As I write this in London, the Kermadecs – the chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific where Mr Peacock’s Possessions is set – feel further away than ever. Here’s a photograph of me back in March saying a sad farewell to Raoul, reimagined in my book as Monday Island. I’d come within feet of its landing rock in a NZ Navy speedboat, flown over the island in a keep reading
Category News | Tags: HMNZS Canterbury, interview, Kermadecs, Kim Hill, Lydia Syson, Mr Peacock's Possessions, Ocean Sanctuary, Pacific islands, Pew Trusts, Raoul, Sir Peter Blake Trust, volcanic islands
February 24, 2018 by Lydia Syson
A book cover, an expedition, a story. keep reading
Category News | Tags: Kermadecs, Lancastria, Mr Peacock's Possessions, New Zealand, Ocean Sanctuary, Pew Trusts, Raoul Island, Scoop magazine, Sir Peter Blake Trust
Authors for Grenfell Tower auction0
June 23, 2017 by Lydia Syson
Raise money for residents affected by the Grenfell Towers fire through the Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund and get a bookish bargain at the same time. There’s so much on offer here from tea with authors, a cookery lesson – even your entire family in a children’s novel!
Bid generously and frequently. Buy for yourself! Buy for others! Get ahead with Christmas, birthday, wedding presents…endless options. It’s incredibly easy to bid and you can do it from all over the world. Just enter the amount you’d like to pay in sterling in the comments section.
I’m offering help with your writing – fiction or non-fiction. Full details here.
Thanks for your support and for spreading the word.
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January 31, 2017 by Lydia Syson
The new Sky Pony edition of That Burning Summer will be on the shelves of American bookshops from today, in beautiful hardback, introducing a whole new set of readers to the tensions, excitement and quirks of life in Britain in World War 2. Invasion, spyfever, fear of flying, pacifism, betrayal…and love, all in a corner of England so close to France you could hear the fighting across the channel: Romney Marsh, often referred to as the Fifth Continent.
This new edition doesn’t just have a striking new cover. It’s got a whole new penultimate keep reading
Category News | Tags: americanisation, An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, Keren David, NetGalley, new chapter, Sky Pony, That Burning Summer, US publication
Poems inspired by GUERNICA, 19374
December 14, 2016 by Lydia Syson
A report earlier this year concluded that the number of civilians around the world killed by explosive weapons had risen by 55% in five years. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has finally hit the headlines this week – a crisis that has been building for nearly two years due to a proxy war in which the UK government is directly implicated. Today, the evacuation of Aleppo has been delayed, and airstrikes continue. It’s hard for young people in the UK to make sense of any of this. It’s harder still, now that what was once called ‘total warfare’ has become commonplace, to imagine what it was like in the 1930s when, during the Spanish Civil War, the first cities in Europe were attacked from the air.
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