Tag Archives: short stories

John MW Smith – a born story teller

After six months of reading and re-reading  British and American classic works*, I packed some carefully selected independent writers onto my battered Kindle for the summer break.

Englishman John MW Smith was a quirky surprise: A writer hard to categorise, he has a ripe sense of the bizarre and the storytelling knack of a barroom raconteur. He reminds me somewhat of my fellow Australian writer Robert Salisbury, whose work I describe as ‘Spike Milligan meets Don Quixote’.

My five-star  review of Smith’s An Unlawful Act in Libya can be found here. Strongly recommended.

 

*The three standouts were Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Faulkner’s Soldier’s Pay, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools. I’m thinking of writing a novel that places the basic plot of Jude the Obscure in a future dystopia when western societies have largely forgotten how to do mathematics. Mad? Maybe.

And here’s a request: I saw the movie of Ship of Fools some time in the last century, around the time that Cuban heels were in fashion. Does anyone know where I can find a copy or a streaming source?

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing

Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .

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“Sydney authors conned me” – editor’s final words

by Lesley Latte*

cover frontIn his final interview, the late Raymond Saucisson, editor of Charcuterie Monthly, made the shock allegation that a group of Sydney authors tricked him into writing an introduction to the book With Gusto!.

“I was informed that the book was about the joy of food,” said the former cold cut supremo. “Most of the stories depict revolting meals, some with no meat at all.”

Asked why he had provided an introduction to the book, Saucisson said, “I am a man of honour, a knight among meat lovers. I would not renege on a promise”.

It is understood that Saucisson made a similar complaint about an introduction that he agreed to write for Stuart Campbell’s On Becoming a Butcher in Paris. Campbell was not available for comment

With Gusto! is an anthology of food stories by members of the Write On! writers group in Sydney. It is available in paperback here.

The cover design is by TribeCreative.

 

*Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender.

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing

 

 

Shock passing of editor one week after book publication

cover front

By Lesley Latte*

Raymond Saucisson, the noted gourmand and long-time editor of Charcuterie Monthly, passed away unexpectedly yesterday. His close friend Stuart Campbell said that Saucisson’s death comes just a week after the publication of the anthology With Gusto!, for which the charcuterie supremo wrote an introduction. “I’m devastated,” said Campbell. “He was always at the cutting edge, as an editor and as a small goods expert; he was a man who took on life one huge slice at a time”.

Saucisson was born into poverty in Marseilles in 1945. He learned the art of sausage making from his mother, who sold her wares in the alleyways off Le Canebière. As a child Saucisson listened to the stories of the sailors who haunted the area, and in 1960 took a job as a ship’s cook.

After ten years at sea he jumped ship at London, eventually obtaining residence papers and gaining employment as a bus conductor with London Transport. Stuart Campbell remarks on the formidable standard of his English, considering he had virtually no formal education. “During his fifteen years on the buses he read voraciously: Georgette Heyer, The Times, Charles Dickens, The Beano, Thomas Hardy. He consumed everything that was left behind on a bus seat. The 142 to Watford Junction was his university, he once told me.”

In 1985 he was offered the editorship of Charcuterie Monthly. In a recent article he reflected on the magazine’s success: “A piece of writing is like a sausage. It has form, content, texture. And in the same fashion, what turns a quotidian article into an exceptional article is that inexpressible je ne sais quoi, the literary counterpart of a bead of glistening pork fat or a perfect balance of herbs.” His nephew Gilbert Saucisson will take over Raymond’s duties at Charcuterie Monthly.

With his trademark cravat, four-day stubble and haughty stare, Raymond Saucisson will be missed around the French markets that have become de rigueur among Sunday bruncheurs (a neologism of his own invention) from Aylesbury to Auckland.

Raymond Saucisson is survived by his wife Solange, an author of vegan cookbooks. “While our dietary tastes differed, we complemented one other perfectly like ham and peas. If he was my bubble, I was his squeak,” she said yesterday.

*Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender.

With Gusto! by the Write On! writers group is available in paperback here.

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing