11 – Salena Godden

In this episode, poet, activist, broadcaster, essayist and now novelist Salena Godden speaks about her debut novel (Mrs Death Misses Death), her favourite independent bookshop and recommends five brilliant writers’ books.

 

About Mrs Death Misses Death:

 

Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen.

 

Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love. All the while, despite her world-weariness, Death must continue to hold humans’ fates in her hands, appearing in our lives when we least expect her…


Mrs Death Misses Death is published by Canongate: https://uk.bookshop.org/books/mrs-death-misses-death/9781838851194

 

A modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress leavened with caustic wit . . . an elegant, occasionally uproarious, danse macabreGuardian

Lyrical, powerful and definitely one you need to read’ Stylist

 

Anna Fielding is a journalist and event host. Follow her on Twitter: @anna_anna

 

Here are the books discussed and recommended in this episode:

 

The Collected Short Stories by Jean Rhys:

Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys:

Leaving Mr Mackenzie by Jean Rhys:

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Xstabeth by David Keenan

The Future Starts Here by John Higgs

Watling Street by John Higgs

William Blake vs. The World by John Higgs

Butterfly Fish by Irenosen Okojie

Nudi Branch by Irenosen Okojie

Speak Gigantular by Irenosen Okojie


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