Clare Chambers | 'I won’t start anything until I’m absolutely driven'

Clare Chambers | 'I won’t start anything until I’m absolutely driven'

Around 20 years ago I came across three of Clare Chambers’ early novels at the same time—Back Trouble, Learning to Swim and A Dry Spell—andwas immediately entranced, as were the reviewers of the time. To quote just two: “Charming… a funny and moving story with a great deal of style,” found the Sunday Telegraph; “modern, intelligently observed and highl original,” opined the Daily Mail. So when I received a proof of her new novel, Small Pleasures (W&N, July), her first in 10 years, it was like encountering an old friend.

Small Pleasures opens in June 1957, when local paper North Kent Echo h...

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