The Pen Friend
Beschreibung'I write to try to see you as you were, or what you have become. You left no forwarding address: that was part of your intention. For when we wrote those letters to each other all those years ago, we wrote as much for ourselves as for each other.'
More than twenty years after the end of their love affair, Gabriel receives a cryptic postcard from old flame Nina. It is the first of thirteen cards from her, each one provoking a series of reveries about their life together in 1980s Belfast.
The Pen Friend is, however, much more than a love story. As Gabriel teases out the significance of the cards, his reveries develop into richly textured meditations on writing, memory, spiritualism and surveillance. The result is an intricate web of fact and fiction - moving easily between such varied subjects as the Troubles, Esperanto and John Lavery - a strange and wonderful novel by one of our finest Irish writers.
If you enjoyed The Pen Friend, you might also enjoy Ciaran Carson's Exchange Place, a brilliant thriller set in Paris and Belfast.
Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast in 1948. He is the author of nine collections of poems, including Belfast Confetti, First Language, and Breaking News. His prose works include Last Night’s Fun, a book about Irish traditional music; The Star Factory, a memoir of Belfast; Fishing for Amber: A Long Story; and a novel, Shamrock Tea, which was long-listed for the 2001 Booker Prize. His translation of Dante’s Inferno won the 2002 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation prize, and his translation of Brian Merriman’s Cúirt an Mhéan Oíche (The Midnight Court) appeared in 2005. A translation of the Old Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge was published by Penguin Classics in 2007. For All We Know (2008) was a Poetry Book Society Choice. His Collected Poems was published in 2008. His most recent volumes of poetry are On the Night Watch (2009) and Until Before After (2010). He is the author or two novels, The Pen Friend (2009) and Exchange Place (2012).