Jayne Anne Phillips: Lark and Termite

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Fiction, Poetry

978-0375401954 – Hardcover – Knopf – $24.00

storyLark and Termite is one of the best novels I have read in a long time, written by one of the best writers we have.  Jayne Anne Phillips writes fiction that is always deeply luminous, complex and beautiful.  There’s an almost meditative quality to this novel, as the author switches between multiple perspectives and voices brilliantly, almost lulling the reader into not realizing that a complex and intricate story is being told.  Phillips gives voice and life to her characters, defining a family and the complex web of events and places that give it structure, deep and viable across place and time in an extraordinary, mysterious and beautiful story.

As Alice Munro says about Lark and Termite: “This novel is cut like a diamond, with such sharp authenticity and bursts of light.”

In this interview, Jayne Anne Phillips talks in detail about her newest novel, the genesis of the story and its characters, their history as she imagines them, how she works as a writer.  We also talk about her first book, Sweethearts, published by my Truck Press in 1976.  Overall this is a varied and interesting conversation with a writer who is in complete command of her abilities.

— David Wilk, September 2009

Knopf makes an excerpt of Lark and Termite available for readers to sample, well worth visiting the book site or click below.