As a writer of novels set in the past, Katharine McMahon has come to realise that the preoccupations she addresses in her fiction are also those of the present day, and that the distinction between ‘historical’ and ‘contemporary’ fiction may have outlived its usefulness.
I remember my own 21st birthday, and my wedding day, and I also have these imaginary memories of scaling the rooftops of Ghent and splashing through the Brussels sewers to try to get away from a serial killer.
As a young man, Jonathan Falla worked in a gloriously antiquated Javanese print shop. The stories he heard about Indonesia’s war of independence inspired a novel about a Dutch colonial printer in Java. Falla’s experiences in the print shop, meanwhile, inspired his decision to privately print his novel in a specially designed limited edition.