10.30am : Edward Parnell

Saturday 17th 10.30am

Ghostland, In search of a haunted country

A uniquely strange and wonderful work of literature‘ – Philip Hoare

In his late thirties, Edward Parnell found himself trapped in the recurring nightmare of a family tragedy. For comfort, he turned to his bookshelves, back to the ghost stories that obsessed him as a boy, and to the writers through the ages who have attempted to confront what comes after death.

In Ghostland, Parnell goes in search of the ‘sequestered places’ of the British Isles, our lonely moors, our moss-covered cemeteries, our stark shores and our folkloric woodlands. He explores how these landscapes conjured and shaped a kaleidoscopic spectrum of literature and cinema, from the ghost stories and weird fiction of M. R. James, Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood to the children’s fantasy novels of Alan Garner and Susan Cooper; from W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn and Graham Swift’s Waterland to the archetypal ‘folk horror’ film The Wicker Man.

Ghostland is Parnell’s moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – and what is haunting him. It is a unique and elegiac meditation on grief, memory and longing, and of the redemptive power of stories and nature.

Edward Parnell has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. His first novel The Listeners won the 2014 Rethink New Novels Prize. He is the Director of the Wymondham Words literature festival and has written numerous articles on natural history and conservation for magazines and newspapers.

He will be interviewed for DigiTAL by award-winning author and journalist Alex Preston.