Alistair’s Comments

April 17th, 2018

The fullest response to November came in the autumn of 2017 in a personal email from Alistair Davies, who has been teaching English Literature at the University of Sussex since the early 1980s. In the mid-1970s, while studying for his PhD, he supervised me briefly at Queens’ College (Cambridge, UK): I found him brilliant, intellectually protean, and wonderfully undirective.

Having felt Alistair’s influence — more a state of enabled freedom and curiosity than any series of precepts — at various moments during the composition of November, I emailed him in early 2016, having been out of touch for 39 years. He replied quickly, declaring that he was indeed curious to see November. His generous comments are the result. I’m enormously grateful to him and feel greatly encouraged by his appreciation of the novel.

I have waited months before ‘sharing’ Alistair’s response because it has taken me this long to absorb it myself. I have of course asked for and obtained his permission to post his comments here. Please click below.

Alistair’s comments-2017