Carrie Tiffany’s New Novel


14 February 2012

I’m awfully glad to hear that Carrie Tiffany has a new novel out!  (I wrote about  her first novel Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Livingat The Second Pass, a couple years back.) It’s called Mateship With Birds and it’s been published by Picador. Read more about it in this interview with CT here.

I’d had a brief email exchange with Carrie Tiffany back in 2009; she said she was really struggling with the second book, and also not finding much time to write (children, full-time job, etc).  That the book is being released now, in 2012, makes my heart pitter-patter (appropriately, on this Valentine’s Day?), because it means that this very talented woman, with as many life challenges as anyone to deal with, got down to it: she got it done, despite the obstacles.  Three cheers!

Here’s what Tiffany herself says about her slow process (she wrote an entire novel that she ultimately threw away):

If you’re wondering why there were seven years between her novels, part of the answer is that she wrote another novel. Freud in the Bush grew out of that first short story about a snake. In reality, the great psychoanalyst sent a paper to an Australian conference in 1911. Tiffany imagined he attended to give a paper, On the Pouch, and took a train inland from Spencer Street Station. When the novel was finished she threw it away. ”I realised I was making fun of him,” she says. ”The more I read of Freud, the more I was convinced a great many of his discoveries were correct – that what we really want as adults is what we wanted as children, that dreams often point to repressed desires, that sexual repression manifests itself in the body in a variety of ways. I could no longer treat the subject with the irony I had intended.” […]

Don’t expect another novel from Tiffany in a hurry. She has begun writing one, set in the 1970s. However, she says, ”People write too much. They write to prove they’re still writers”. She writes slowly and in the end, ”I hand in a postage stamp and the publisher says, ‘More, more!’ I’m definitely a miniaturist.”

I’m not sure where to find the novel at this point – it’s not yet on Amazon or Powell’s.  But I’ll keep looking.


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