Forums Club Ed Editors’ Forum Fiction requires cruelty Reply To: Fiction requires cruelty

Jake Nicholls

I’ve been thinking about this in relation to a book that I read and absolutely loved last year: ‘Leonard and Hungry Paul’ by Irish writer Rónán Hession. (Incidentally, it’s just about to be published by Melville House in the US, and I highly recommend it to anybody and everybody!)

It’s a lovely book, very gentle and quietly witty. When I’m talking to customers in the bookshop about it, I often describe it as ‘slice of life’ because nothing overly dramatic happens – it just follows the steady friendship of the two title characters. But – and here’s where it proves your point, Jennifer – things do change, and the characters do face challenges and conflict. It’s just on a small, everyday scale. That’s what makes it so charming!