Our talented author Kate Furnivall visited the Russian Department of Exeter University to talk about her novels set in Russia. Now over to you Кейт Фернивалл.
One of the delights of writing is that I never know where it will take me next – not only to weird and wonderful places inside my own head, but also to unexpected locations out there in the real world that exists beyond the four walls of my study.
It came as a bolt from the blue to be invited to give a talk to the Russian department of Exeter University. You could have knocked me down with a babushka! But a Russian specialist at the uni, Dr Muireann Maguire, had, unknown to me, been busy reading my books which are set in Russia in the 1930s and became caught up in the world they portrayed. As a result, she was keen for me to come and talk about why I placed my stories there (my grandmother was a White Russian) and how I did my research.
So off I went to Exeter Uni on a bright sunny morning and I enjoyed a very interesting time. My audience was enthusiastic – though I had a bit of a scary moment when I saw a whole bunch of lecturers from the Russian department troop in at the back to listen. There was also an interesting piece by Dr Maguire on the complexities of translating Russian authors into English. As my own Russian trilogy has been translated into Russian and published in Russia and the Ukraine, I am always keen to learn more about how it is done.
At the end, the head of the Exeter’s ‘Twinned-with-Russia’ Committee came over for a chat for a report on my talk for their local magazine. Afterwards I was whisked off to a super meal in the smart restaurant in this gorgeous Palladian building on campus – the last place I ever imagined my Russian heroine, Lydia, would take me!
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To find out about Kates novels visit her AUTHOR PAGE