Monday, September 22, 2008

Small Wonder 2008 - Richard Yates

Following long, tense negotiations by the organisers, leading to secure delivery, and locking of the film in a safe, the audience on Saturday was the first ever to see the trailer for the new Sam Mendes film of the novel "Revolutionary Road" by Richard Yates. There was also exclusive footage of the director talking about the project. The film will not be released till next year. Lionel Shriver, author of "We Need to Talk About Kevin", then proceeded to explain to us why Richard Yates was such a great writer, and proved it by reading a superb story of his, "A Convalescent Ego", the last in his collected stories*. It consists of a man worrying about the consequences of a small domestic accident, in which he has broken a new cup and saucer from a set that his wife just bought. In a series of brilliant variations on the theme of how to tell her, and the possible gloomy aftermath, he fails to predict the actual, more upbeat outcome.

Noël Knowall

* The Collected Stories of Richard Yates

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