Imatge de l'autor

Sarah Moss

Autor/a de Ghost Wall

16+ obres 3,365 Membres 233 Ressenyes 13 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Sarah Moss is a lecturer in English at the University of Kent.

Inclou el nom: Moss Sarah

Obres de Sarah Moss

Ghost Wall (2018) 998 exemplars
Summerwater (2020) 490 exemplars
Cold Earth (2009) 295 exemplars
The Tidal Zone (2016) 290 exemplars
Night Waking (2011) 276 exemplars
The Fell (2021) 257 exemplars
Bodies of Light (2014) 202 exemplars
Signs for Lost Children (2015) 148 exemplars
Chocolate: A Global History (2009) 57 exemplars
Probabilistic Knowledge (2018) 14 exemplars
Homeless Bodies 1 exemplars

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Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
Lloc de naixement
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
Llocs de residència
Warwickshire, England, UK
Dublin, Ireland
Associate Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick
senior lecturer at the University of Kent from 2004 – 2009
Senior Lecturer in Literature and Place at Exeter University’s Cornwall Campus
University of Exeter
University of Reykjavik
University of Kent
University of Warwick
Biografia breu
Sarah Moss was educated at Oxford University and is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick. She is the author of two novels; Cold Earth (Granta 2010), and Night Waking (Granta 2012), which was selected for the Fiction Uncovered Award in 2011, and the co-author of Chocolate: A Global History. She spent 2009-10 as a visiting lecturer at the University of Reykjavik, and wrote an account of her time there in Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland (Granta 2012).



This book throws you a curve, at least if you don't first read some of the nicely done reviews already on here. It begins with a scene of human sacrifice in Iron Age Britain, cuts to a group of students on an archaeology course trying (not too hard, mind) to re-enact Iron Age life whilst camping outdoors near the woods in northern England, and is titled "Ghost Wall", so, I was expecting some magical realism, some supernaturalism, in line with reading this book solely on someone's recommendation who said it was "spooky".

No angry two millennium old ghosts who were victimized by human sacrifice here, though. Instead, the twin horrors of contemporary working class nativism and domestic abuse. The students and their professor have teamed up with a local bus driver, Bill, who is a self-taught ancient history buff, and who brings along his teenage daughter. He likes old history because he's wedded his identity to a romanticized vision of an original British people (white, non-Catholic, natch) from whom he descends, walking the same ground they did. There's an awkward scene near the beginning of the book where his romantic view clashes with the professor's academic one:
The Britons had enough training that the Romans had to build the Wall, Dad said, they wouldn't have bothered with that, would they, if the British hadn't put the wind up them. Well, said the Prof, they weren't exactly British, as I said before, they wouldn't have seen themselves that way, as far as we can tell their identities were tribal. Celts, we tend to call them these days, though they wouldn't have recognized the idea, they seem to have come from Brittany and Ireland, from the west. Dad didn't like this interpretation... He wanted his own ancestry, a claim on something, some tribe sprung from English soil like mushrooms in the night. What about Boadicea, Dad said, she routed them an' all, didn't she. Boudicca, said the Prof, we call her Boudicca these days, it seems to be a more accurate rendition. For a while, yes, but she led the Iceni in the south, there's not much evidence that the people round here caused the Romans any major alarm, the Wall was much more of a symbol than a military necessity.

Naturally, the logical reasoning of the educated middle class worldview has little effect on the racialized and idealized worldview held by our white working class character, who would upend his already formed core identity and understanding of his place in the world if he accepted that his views were, factually, wrong. People don't generally care to do such a thing, of course, working class or not; psychological studies show that we rather tend to harden our pre-existing beliefs when presented evidence that they're wrong.

This reads, then, like a criticism of the people who voted for Brexit or Donald Trump, holding onto uneducated, incorrect ideas on race, tribe, and the like. We're a long way from events in the Iron Age. But then the story moves on to focus more on the domestic abuse our bus driver inflicts on his wife and daughter, an issue that as Moss nicely demonstrates lacks a class angle. The professor and one of his male students seem all too comfortable with Bill's obvious misogyny, building up to the end of the story where they literally join him in inflicting physical abuse on his daughter, knives and stones included in a miserable reenactment of the literal human sacrifice the story begins with.

Though not about what I thought it'd be about, it does build some spookiness, as you still know it's leading up to something... not good. It's well-written, fairly interesting, and a quick read, as well, though the ending is a bit undercooked, I'd say.
… (més)
lelandleslie | Hi ha 78 ressenyes més | Feb 24, 2024 |
This is a very well written book with many characters somewhat difficult to differentiate. They are on a vacation in Scotland where the weather is awful. They are staying in an old rental community with much history, but Moss foreshadows the bleak ending that occurs. It seems as if she is predicting the end of the world either due to climate change and/or a plague so it is now easy to believe. Some of her characters are almost cartoons, but her on the spot writing saved the book.
suesbooks | Hi ha 39 ressenyes més | Feb 8, 2024 |
The writing and content of this book were so precise and filled with meaning. This is about a lockdown due to a virus and the reactions of a variety of people. Fortunately, every one of them is very aware of many of their thoughts--past, present, and future. Many pertained to me, and I presume to most readers, and they are presented very well. I did not know the area of England described, nor many of the dialectical words used, and I still very much wanted to see what would happen. Maybe this book will help me to look at life from many perspectives.… (més)
suesbooks | Hi ha 25 ressenyes més | Jan 29, 2024 |
Haunting. (No pun intended.)
Treebeard_404 | Hi ha 78 ressenyes més | Jan 23, 2024 |



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