Francis Spufford “Golden Hill”

This week in Creative Writing Reading Series we welcomed Francis Spufford, the author of Red Plenty, The Child that Books Built and his newest novel, Golden Hill.

Golden Hill (chosen as Waterstones’ Book of a Month), is set in the Eighteenth Century New York and follows the steps of Mr Smith, a stranger from England who travels to America for a peculiar purpose which remains mysterious to both the readers and the characters he encounters in the story. Although the novel follows the structure known for the adventure books of the period, the author discussed his ambiguous relationship with the genre and his struggle to write the Eighteenth century while avoiding its cliches, and capturing the familiarity of it while sprinkling it with fresh elements a modern reader would enjoy.

The most interesting element of the novel is the main character himself. Although we do not know much about him, we are fascinated with him throughout the whole story. We want to follow him into the unknown.

Francis Spufford, the man who spontaneously delivers the most wonderful quotes, was a great speaker and an extremely entertaining reader.