- Camilla Pia
- 24 August 2011
This article is from 2011.
The author of The Observations and Gillespie and I on making Glasgow an evocative character
‘The secret was what I began with,’ says Jane Harris about her most recent work, Gillespie and I. And what a mystery we unravel, as narrator Harriet Baxter reflects on her time in 1880s Glasgow and the consequences of a chance meeting with ‘soulmate’ painter Ned Gillespie. ‘It was always in my mind that things would dawn on people as they read on,’ the author says from her East London home, ‘and that would be part of the pleasure for them; they would become the detective.’
Harris may be an ex-Weegie now, but she still has a soft spot for the city, and her second novel (after an acclaimed 2006 debut, The Observations) reads like a love letter to the place she lived and studied in. This Glasgow setting is a theme for the author’s forthcoming event, but as she explains, she found embarking on it rather daunting. ‘So many great novels have been set there, but it was exciting writing about it because I love it so much. I have lived on those streets in the West End where this story is set. I see the city as a character in the novel, because I put a lot of love into my rendering of it.’
25 Aug (with Ross Raisin), 10.15am, £10 (£8).