Getting reconnected through extreme choices
This article is from 2007.
For any writer who spends most of their time away all on their own in a darkened corner, it’s essential to have a release and to get some thoughts on their work from people they know and trust. For an author such as Ewan Morrison, dubbed notoriously as a ‘purveyor of erudite filth’, getting that second opinion hasn’t proved as tricky as you’d think. ‘A friend of mine called up one night and said, “I really need some pornographic material; you got anything in your book?”’, he recalls. ‘So, I sent her over a copy and she called later: “well I tried to read that thing and it was really horny but I ended up crying by the end of it”.’
Whether this was one of Morrison’s intended effects for his debut novel Swung is unclear. Exploring how people (specifically his key messed-up characters David and Alice) can lose their way and find that their sense of self has been shot to pieces is a more certain ambition. ‘As a writer you hold back from getting completely overcome by experience, you’re always at one remove,’ he notes. ‘This is Alice’s condition, and she feels like she’s not quite part of life yet. That makes her plunge deeper into more extreme experience to try and feel connected.’ (Brian Donaldson)
Recommended reading: The Last Book You Read and Other Stories is his debut collection of stories about modern relations set in America and Scotland.
25 Aug (with Ron Butlin & Dan Rhodes), 8.30pm, £8 (£6).