By Emily Pedder
The American editor Shawn Coyne has a theory about this: ‘Love stories are so popular because people not only go to them for the entertainment value but subconsciously they’re watching a love story and they’re trying to track ways that they can become more lovable and form bonds and relationships…People don’t want to be alone.” Love stories, Coyne argues, like all stories, are ‘metaphors that help us know how to behave.’
Our creative writing short course alumni are no slouches in this ‘story’ department and also happen to know a thing or two about love. In celebration of Valentine’s Day this year, we pay tribute to some of their novels which explore the eternal quest for love.
Rachael’s Gift by Alexandra Cameron
A skillfully plotted, continent-crossing literary thriller which explores a mother’s love for her troubled daughter and the lengths she will go to protect her.
Dona Nicanora’s Hat Shop by Kirstan Hawkins
Doña Nicanora has her heart set on turning Don Bosco’s barbers into a hat shop, but Don Bosco has his heart set on her. A wonderfully warm-hearted comedy of errors set in a backwoods South American town.
Foolish Lessons in Life and Love by Penny Rudge
Join Taras, the hapless hero stuck in a futile job and still living with his overbearing mother, as he tries to win back the enchanting Katya. Brilliantly observed and very funny.
Butterfly Ranch by Remy Salters
In a remote jungle lodge in Southern Belize, a local policeman investigates the mysterious disappearance of a world-famous reclusive author. A masterful tale of obsessive love, self-destruction and unexpected redemption.
Flesh and Bone and Water by Luiza Sauma
A letter delivered to Dr Andre Cabal in London catapults him back to his 17 year-old self in 1980s Brazil and begins the devastating and mesmerizing story of one man’s secret infatuation for the daughter of his family’s maid.
Creative Writing short courses at City
Many of our students have gone on to publish books after completing one of our creative writing short courses. Deepa Anappara published her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, last month after completing our one-year course, The Novel Studio.