Posts From Author: ten commandments

After the Fire, a Brilliant Debut Novel

“There’s some of us, yourself included I’m sure, have seen and borne witness to a number of terrible things. And as you’ll know, those things haunt a man.” — Klyde in After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld Evie Wyld is the award-winning author of All the Birds, Singing, published by Pantheon earlier this month. Ahead of her appearance at next week’s Seriously Entertaining show, we returned to the past and her harsh, mysterious, brilliant first novel, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice (Pantheon, 2009). Mild spoilers lie herein. The novel’s title refers to a divine misunderstanding in 1 Kings. The prophet Elijah is camping out on Mount Horeb, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. He complains to God that he’s the last of the faithful. God suggests he go outside onto the mountain, where he stages a meteorological spectacular for Elijah: strong wind; an earthquake; “after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice”. And the voice says to him, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” The prophet repeats his gripe, betraying how little he has learned from this moment of revelation. It’s an appropriate touchstone, for Wyld’s tale is […]
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Plundered Hearts: The Poetry of J.D. McClatchy

Honouring J.D. McClatchy in 1991, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters stated, “It may be that no more eloquent poet will emerge in his American generation.” Since then, his reputation has grown as exponentially as his output. A poet, essayist, librettist — and Professor of English at Yale — McClatchy is certainly one of the hardest-working poets in America. Knopf has kindly published a new collection of his work, Plundered Hearts: New and Selected Poems, providing readers with a perfect introduction to his world. One of the new poems, “Prelude, Delay, and Epitaph”, is as good a way in as any: A finger is cut from a rubber glove And cinched as a tourniquet around my toe. The gouging ingrown nail is to be removed. The shots supposed to have pricked and burned The nerves diabetes has numbed never notice. The toe, as I watch, slowly turns a bluish Gray, the color of flesh on a slab, the size Of a fetus floating on the toilet’s Styx, But lumpen, the blunt hull of a tug slowly Nosing the huge, clumsy vessel into port. McClatchy continues; this is just the “prelude”. But there is much even in this […]
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