Friday, July 11, 2008

Alumnus update: Matt Fullerty

Matt Fullerty, a graduate of our doctoral program, writes that he has won an unpublished novel competition.
All the details are at the Bookhabit website, which includes a review of the novel by Geoff Cush and a link to an interview. The novel is called THE PRIDE AND THE SORROW and was sent to UK agents last week. The narrative takes place in New Orleans last century and follows chess player Paul Morphy. Extensive information can be found at Matt's own website and the Bookhabit main page. An excerpt from the publicity is below:
The Pride and the Sorrow is the story of Paul Morphy (1837-1884), born in New Orleans as a chess prodigy, his famous journey through Europe and his ultimate downfall on and off the chessboard. He is celebrated in fashionable European society, honored by Napoleon III of France and Queen Victoria of England and returns to New Orleans a local celebrity, only to find Civil War looming, a storm brewing in his family and his own mind coming apart...
The book captures the romanticism of New Orleans and demonstrates the regeneration cycle and unique heart of the city, as prevalent historically as it is now.
Geoff Cush, a member of the judging panel, said "There were some fine pieces of storytelling among the finalists, and some characters it was interesting and enjoyable to spend time with. I would particularly recommend NOAH and I DIDN'T KNOW I WASN'T BLACK to Bookhabit readers. What made Matt Fullerty's writing stand out, from the very first sentence, was an unusually strong and individual way with words. Taking us into the vanished world of old America and Europe he uses a highly textured language to give an almost physical experience of being in that place and time. Drawing subtle lines between a society top-heavy with leisure and the profligate genius it produced in Morphy, he holds back the historical and personal reckoning while letting it gather and brood like the storm that finally washes away New Orleans. In my view this makes THE PRIDE AND THE SORROW a stand-out all rounder in the craft of literary fiction."
Fullerty was born in England and educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University (BA, English) and the University of East Anglia (MA, Creative Writing). He was recently awarded a PhD in English from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. The Pride and the Sorrow is his first novel. He is now writing The Murderess and the Hangman.
The first chapter is available for free here The Pride and the Sorrow and the podcast with Matt can be listened to here.
Congratulations, Matt, and we look forward to reading your novel!

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Alumnus update: Matt Fullerty
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