Richard T Kelly set for Edinburgh Book Festival appearance

Author of The Possessions of Doctor Forrest

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This article is from 2011.

Richard T Kelly set for Edinburgh Book Festival appearance

In his second novel, Richard T Kelly conjures up a thrilling romp about three Scottish medics. Here he offers his prognosis on our sickly Q&A

Give us five words to describe The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
The ones I’d borrow from reviews would be ‘gothic’, ‘gripping’, ‘spine chilling’ and ‘seductive’.

Which author should be more famous than they are now?
James Lasdun has a fine reputation, but everyone ought to read his superb stories in the 2009 collection It’s Beginning To Hurt. Lasdun has a masterly way of leading his characters from innocence to experience, and his prose shines (and cuts) like a diamond.

What do you love about book festivals?
Meeting and talking to readers; that’s what book festivals are all about, a refreshing antidote to what writers spend the rest of their time doing …

What was the last book you read?
The Unsettled Dust by Robert Aickman, one of the finest writers of the supernatural. Without fuss, Aickman’s stories conjure a recognisable world that feels wholly foursquare; until you realise that the narrative has been built as a cage, a personal hell, and the protagonist is walking toward death as if in a dream.

Which dead author do you wish was still alive today?
To speak of a writer who went before his time: Gordon Burn was a superb stylist, a keenly questing mind, and a true northerner, who brought real artistry to bear on raw (sometimes terrifying) true-life subject matter, be it politics or poverty, football or serial murder. Whenever there’s a controversial story in the news now, I always think, ‘What would Gordon have made of this?’

13 Aug (with Kevin MacNeil), 10.15am, £10 (£8).

This article is from 2011.

Richard T Kelly & Kevin MacNeil

If gothic fiction is usually associated with the 19th century, then two British authors have brought the genre bang up to date. Richard T Kelly's novel The Possessions of Doctor Forrest and Kevin MacNeil's A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde use the classic gothic rejection of rationality to craft contemporary…

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