- Sarah Hall appeared at the Words by the Water Festival on Saturday 19th March.
- Visithttps://wayswithwords.co.uk/shop/for catchup tickets
You were the last one here before I closed the door of Burntcoat, before we all shut our doors.
In the bedroom above her immense studio at Burntcoat, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness is making her final preparations. Her life will draw to an end in the coming days.
Downstairs, the studio is a crucible glowing with memories and desire. It was here, when the first lockdown came, that she brought Halit. The lover she barely knew.
A presence from another culture. A doorway into a new and feverish world.
Sarah Hall said:
‘On the first day of lockdown in March last year I woke up very early and started writing. That morning, everything felt eerily shrouded and in jeopardy. I remember a similar feeling from childhood. You’d wake to heavy silence, a sense of event. Some spring snow would have obliterated the valley overnight, and you’d have to dig out. Every morning, I got up and wrote while it was still dark. I was homeschooling my daughter, so I only had those hours. I’m not saying I was particularly equipped. But some part of me – a kind of first responder – wanted to work. I’ve been heartbroken by the last year, in so many ways. We all are. Like Burntcoat’s protagonist, I know art can’t really offer a cure. But I had to write this book.’
Faber and Faber
2021 October 7
Hardback, 198 x 129mm