Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The Memory Cage by Ruth Eastham: Launch Party
Luckily a few publishers seem still to be throwing launch parties - and my first one of the year (and it has been a while - 'you look thin, Philip, have you not been to a launch recently?' said someone as I entered) was Scholastic's shindig in Theobald's (pronounced Tibbaults) Road to celebrate the lift-off of Ruth Eastham's Memory Cage, a debut novel about the friendship between a boy and his grandfather who has Alzheimer's, which has been shortlisted for the Waterstone's Prize. The author, an elegant lady from Preston, gave a charmingly sweet speech, as did the new editorial director of the house; I ate enormous amounts of canapes (including what I think was a sort of apple and walnut pancake, but I'm not entirely sure). There were lots of kebabs, which proved very difficult to dip into the dip provided (the question of the evening was, did you push the meat down the stick with your fingers so that it was more easily dunked, thereby risking inelegancy, or did you leave it as it was); that didn't stop me, however. I look forward to reading the Memory Cage, which looks set to be one of the most interesting debuts of the year, and also to a selection of similarly inventive canapes.