The London Train is a novel in two parts, wound together around a single moment, examining in vivid detail two lives stretched between two cities. Paul is a writer living in the Welsh countryside with his wife Elsie and their two young children. The day after his mother dies he learns that his eldest daughter has left her university course and moved out from home. When he finds her, pregnant and living with an older man in a chaotic flat in a tower block in King’s Cross, he thinks he needs to rescue her.
In the opposite direction, Cora is moving back to Cardiff, escaping her marriage, and the constrictions and disappointments of her life in London. At work in the local library she is interrupted by a telephone call from her sister-in-law and best friend, to say that her estranged husband has disappeared.
Connecting both stories is the London train, and a chance meeting that will have immediate and far-reaching consequences for both Paul and Cora.
Tessa, teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University College, although her home is in the City of Cardiff, Wales.
She regularly reviews for various publications, has appeared and read at several Literature Festivals, has recieved numerous nominations for Literature Awards and has had many plays broadcast on radio.
‘The London Train’, which is due for release in January 2011, will be her fourth novel. She also writes commisssioned short stories.
“I love the irresponsibility of short stories. Writing short, you create with a free hand. Each new development you imagine can be drawn in to the story without consequences, with all the lightning-bolt effect of a first thought, no requirement to elaborate a hinterland. A quickly scribbled indication of background can stand in for a whole city, a whole past. And yet I can’t stop wanting to write novels too. Novels see things through. The reader is in for the long term; the writer is in for a sizeable stretch of her life. In a novel there’s not only the dazzle of the moment, but also the slow blooming of the moment’s aftermath in time, its transformation over and over into new forms. I love to write about the present, and the past that’s recent enough for me to remember. The fiction writer’s ambition is modest and overweening: to take the imprint of the passing moment, capture it in the right words, keep it for the future to read.”
To coincide with the launch of ‘The London Train’, Tessa will be talking at ‘Topping & Company Booksellers‘ of Bath, on Thursday 20th January 2011, at 8pm.
There is an attendance fee of £6 per person, which is redeemable against a purchased copy of the book, on the night.
There is a reduction of £1 from the fee, if tickets are purchased in person from the store, prior to the event.
Click here, for further details about the event, directions to the venue etc.