Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Now You See It

The Scotsman delivers a fine profile of Glasgow writer Louise Welsh, whose first novel, The Cutting Room, won high praise from January Magazine, and who now has a third, The Bullet Trick, out in bookstores on both sides of “the pond.” The piece tells something of Bullet’s plot, which finds a down-at-heel magician on the run, escaping into the squalid exoticism of Berlin’s burlesque scene, after he picks the pocket of a Metropolitan Chief Inspector at an innocent retirement party. But it spends at least equal time tracing the influences and sights that led Welsh to concoct her latest story.

Explains writer David Robinson: “Some small part of her latest novel, The Bullet Trick, began the first time she visited Berlin. She had another novella to write first, and Tamburlaine Must Die meant steeping herself in 17th-century London. She wasn’t thinking about Berlin, about cabaret, and a trick--like the one in the title for which the magician’s assistant has to catch between her teeth a bullet aimed at her head--that could so easily turn to murder. She was, however, dreaming of it. ‘I had this recurring dream about the last scene of the book for well over a year,’ she explains. ‘These things are a bit odd, but your mind doesn’t shut down when you go to sleep, so maybe it’s natural.’”

Read the whole article here. And The Scotsman offers an “exclusive extract” from The Bullet Trick here.

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