Geoff Nicholson in Conversation

Two authors from Sheffield. Geoff’s the one on your right.

Getting used to the new normal is going to be testing. It’s hard to concentrate on writing at the moment but moving what can be moved online is keeping me busy. Meanwhile NUCoL is gearing up to meet this challenge and work out how best we can continue our mission of building a better world with words. Tomorrow’s launch of the MyVoice book at the Council House has had to be postponed, which is very sad for the students involved and our staff who have spent so much time working on it. But the book will be available soon and we’re making new plans. Talking of which…

Next week I was due to meet one of my favourite novelists, Geoff Nicholson, a Sheffield born author of hugely entertaining, idiosyncratically satirical novels for Nottingham Creative Writing Hub at NTU at Five Leaves Bookshop, with an opening reading by PhD student Victoria Callus. This can’t now take place, for obvious reasons, so we’ve decided to move it online, where the event will be hosted by Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature on our website. In print, but hopefully with a sound file of Geoff reading, and a bit from Victoria too. Geoff will then be happy to answer audience questions on Twitter for the next few days. I’d be grateful if people would share our link as soon as it’s live and buy Geoff’s books. Five Leaves has a lovely display of them, which we’ll be showing on our site and they’ll send them out post free. Other independent bookshops are available.

Geoff was born in Sheffield but has lived in LA for much of the last three decades, returning to the UK in 2018, when I caught up with him for the first time in over 25 years. Caroline Gannon took the above photo of us at St Pancras. We had previous met at an Ambit magazine launch in 1992. The magazine (still going) published our early work and Geoff went on to replace JG Ballard as its Fiction editor in the late 90s. He’s published 17 novels, numerous short stories and a range of non-fiction, including two books about walking (he’s an urbanist and/or psychogeographer), The Lost Art of Walking and Walking in Ruins, which we’ll also be discussing.

By the way, I’m in discussions with Faber to do something similar with David Peace, another favourite novelist (also from Yorkshire!) who I was due to be interviewing at Five Leaves on May 27th. Watch this space.

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