Sunday, April 3, 2011

Delivery on delivery

The month of March passed in a blur for me. With a new addition to the family expected at the beginning of April – and, in fact, necessarily turning up ten days early – I found myself in the unusual situation of working to a de facto deadline. The task in hand was the completion of the third draft of The Valley of Unknowing. This I managed in the final hour of the final day before our trip to the maternity wing of Kingston Hospital. The baby was delivered safely and rather fast the following afternoon. Uta and I are both thrilled with her, as is our three-year-old Leo, who has been looking forward to Big Brother status for months. The new book’s health (and reception) will take a lot longer to assess.
Last month also saw two more bookings for the diary. In May I’m going back to the German capital for a friendly interrogation by the Berlin Intercultural Reading Groups, an admirably organised network of literary Germans who like to read their English novels in the original. In July, here in London, I’m sharing a platform with the novelist Pat Barker at The Royal Society. An event has been organised there on science and literature by the British Society for the History of Science. I always enjoy visiting Berlin, and Pat Barker is a writer I hugely admire. So I’m looking forward very much to both occasions.
As if all this was not excitement enough, The Einstein Girl is to be translated into Macedonian. I must admit, I didn’t know Macedonia had its own language (foolishly, I assumed they spoke either Greek or Serbo-Croat); so I am a marginally richer in the knowledge department, as well as in the bank balance department.