Today I’m delighted to welcome poet and novelist Ian Gouge. His ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is EM Forster’s A Passage to India.
“My ‘Porridge & Cream’ novel is perhaps an unfashionable choice: EM Forster’s A Passage to India. I first read the novel in 1976 when, having dropped out of school two years earlier, I enrolled at a sixth-form college to study A Levels before going on to take English at university. A Passage to India was one of the set texts, and – along with Auden and Yeats – responsible for kindling my love of literature.
“I don’t re-read it that often, although I have done so this year – and, to be frank, was a little shocked by how dated it now seems. But for me it’s one of those books (like Heart of Darkness, which ran the Forster a close second!) where it is probably enough to know that it’s there should I ever need it. Perhaps my attachment to it is more about memory than anything. The images of the caves, a fantastic passage about wasps and heaven, the way Forster makes the landscape and environment resonate with the characters’ emotions – yes, it’s all of that, of course, but probably more important is the part it played in launching me on my literary journey.”
Ian has been writing since he was five-years-old, and can still just about remember his first story! He enjoys both poetry and fiction and finds working at both genres simultaneously keeps them fresh. He always has at least two projects on the go. When he discovered indie publishing around eight years ago it was like finding his voice all over again. Since then he has not only published his back catalogue but has been particularly prolific in the last three years. He now has his own publishing label – Coverstory Books – and has branched out into publishing work by other writers.
Writing blog & website
Ian’s latest book
A Pattern of Sorts explores the difficulty we often encounter when trying to reconcile our memories of events with what actually happened. In the almost inevitable mis-match, our mind plays tricks on us, and what we have recently learned and how we have recently lived, gets in the way and colours the past. Pressed to recall his own life, the challenge of juggling myth and reality is dangerously fraught for Luke – especially given the story of his remarkable emotional high, and the catastrophe which followed it.
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What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.
Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Lev D Lewis’s choice is ‘Rogue Male’ by Geoffrey Household
Rob V Biggs chooses ‘Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame
‘Heller with a Gun’ by Louis L’Amour is chosen by Simon Fairfax
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does writer & poet Ian Gouge re-read EM Forster’s A PASSAGE TO INDIA? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-4SY via @SandraDanby