Back in 2005 I interviewed Dai Vaughan. Neal Ascherson once called Dai ‘one of the most imperiously intelligent fiction-writers alive’, he could have added one of the most gracious and charming too...
Great news, then, that the excellent CB editions has just published Dai's latest book Sister of the artist:
A cloaked figure sweeps towards her. It has the features of Viktor, who she knows is far away. But they are only a painted oval held on a wand, which he flicks aside to reveal, under the sacking cowl, her own double; and she hears a voice – her own? – croak, ‘Who leads in the dance?’
Prompted by the example of the composer Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny, Sister of the artist addresses the injustice of a brother and sister, both artists, whose talents are respectively encouraged and thwarted by the conventions of their time and place. Their story is layered with fragments of more ancient narratives that explore the mysteries of sibling love and the wellsprings of creativity.
Sister of the artist is prefaced by two stories of a writer and her sister, guests returning from Dai Vaughan’s first novel, The Cloud Chamber (1993).