Beginning with myths

The novelist Hamish Clayton rereads Lloyd Jones’s The Book of Fame

I first read Lloyd Jones’s The Book of Fame soon after it had won the Deutz Medal for fiction, at the then-Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2001. It had been published the year before, not surprisingly, to critical acclaim. I barely remember reading any reviews at all when it first appeared, but I do remember the talk around the novel, the excited edge of the chatter about this book that felt different to almost anything else going around in local fiction at the time. As the judges of the Montana put it: “On any scale of originality this novel is in a class of its own.” It’s not hard to see why.

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