December 21st, 2012

Dear Readers, if there are indeed any of you still out there. We are nearly at the end of the year and, if I’ve been quiet on here for the last few months, that’s because I have been pretty busy elsewhere.

I spent some time in the late summer/early autumn writing the short story ‘Pentatonic’, and then working with Danny Manners on the audio version, which we performed live twice in the UK in September, and then recorded at the studio of our good friend Ken Brake near Regent’s Park in London. We’re both very happy with the result, and I hope that some of you are motivated to download it: it can be purchased from eMusic, amazon and iTunes.

Last month I finished another story, ‘Rotary Park’, which will be published in the Sunday Telegraph this Sunday, December 23rd. I don’t think it will be made available online, although now that I’ve increased my lifetime’s output of short stories from 3 to 5 in the space of a few months, you never know, I might have enough for a collection before too long …

The thing it gives me most pleasure to announce, though, is the completion of my new novel, EXPO 58. As the title suggests, it is set during the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958. It’s a comic novel of the Cold War, mixing espionage, politics and romance. I think of it as John Le Carré meets Evelyn Waugh, although a friend who read it said it was more like GK Chesterton meeting Alfred Hitchcock. Penguin will publish the book in the UK in September 2013, with Dutch and Italian editions coming out at the same time or even sooner.

All of these new works, ‘Pentatonic’, ‘Rotary Park’ and EXPO 58 are extensions or by-products of the same family saga which began with the story ‘Ivy and Her Nonsense’ and continued with THE RAIN BEFORE IT FALLS.

Incidentally if you’re not already a subscriber to eMusic I would strongly recommend it as offering the best value (and most interesting selection) of all the music download sites. Here, for instance, is my favourite musical discovery of the year: Vince Mendoza’s 1999 album EPIPHANY, a beautiful fusion of jazz and orchestral music which accompanied me through the writing of the last few chapters of EXPO 58, and provided a constant stream of joy and inspiration. The first track, ‘Impromptu’, is just extraordinary.

A happy, peaceful and creative 2013 to everyone.

jonathan coe portrait imageJonathan Coe was born on 19 August 1961 in Lickey, a suburb of south-west Birmingham. His father worked in the motor industry as a research physicist; his mother was a music and PE teacher.
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