What We're Reading: Larkinland by Jonathan Tulloch
Inpress intern Alex Collinson has been reading Larkinland by Jonathan Tulloch. Alex has just finished her second year at Newcastle University studying English Literature.
Larkinland is a study in the quotidian. It is an exploration of Philip Larkin’s poetic landscape – a setting that is vivid with mundanity. When Spring arrives ‘at Bloody last’ the writer reports, it may bear ‘bridal blossom’, but it also carries a ‘bouquet of stinking fish’. It is this dose of misery that lends Tulloch’s portrait of 1950s Hull so perfectly to Larkin’s world.
Having already authored seven novels, spanning themes of friendship in Newcastle to a crises of faith in Teesside, Tulloch is no stranger to confronting – and making sense of – relationships and emotions, in a frank, colloquial, and distinctively ‘Northern’ manner. Larkinland centres on the character of Arthur Merryweather, based on Larkin himself. Sweary and sullen, Arthur is endearing from the start: we follow him as he lodges with the ‘landlady from Hell’ and stumbles across the mystery of Mr Bleaney, falling in love along the way.
Buy it here.