© Janus van den Eijnden
Interview by Hans Bouman
Graham Swift is one of the most important contemporary British writers. His new novel Mothering Sunday is a romance, in which he makes a moment last without it becoming long-winded. Swift shows not only his superior writership, but also the importance of stories in our lives.
About Mothering Sunday
The book describes a day of the life of the maidservant Jane Fairchild. This day, March 30th 1924, ‘Mothering Sunday’ is the day that the house personnel has the day off to visit family. But Jane doesn’t have any family and instead visits her lover Paul Sheringham, whom she secretly hooks up with since her teenage years. This day, they finally share the bed unhurried, but this will be the last time. Paul is engaged and will move to London to become a lawyer. He leaves Jane in his empty house, because he has an appointment with his fiancée. She stays in bed and has the house for herself until the personnel returns. This can’t end well… In Mothering Sunday fortune, passion and a terrible loss are intertwined during the time of a first idyllic spring day. That day, which ends in tragedy, forms the beginning of the later life of Jane Fairchil as a praised writer of novels and memoires.
‘This is Graham Swift at the top of his game: a rare, accurate combination of an elegy of the past and a hymn of the future, in a book that tingles of vitality.’ – de Volkskrant
‘A story of love and lust. It might be Swift’s best book ever.’ – The Guardian
About Graham Swift
Graham Swift (1949) became famous for his novels Waterland (1983) and Last Orders (1996). For the latter he received the prestigious Man Booker Prize. A reoccuring theme in his work is the function of memory, both memories of individuals and the collective memory and its role in history. His latest novel is published with Hollands Diep in the Netherlands and was translated by Irving Pardoen.