Book Hall

A call comes through on my iPhone. I know it’s from Curtis Brown literary agency. I know who it is and who it is for – the person with me, who is either Brian Howell or someone like Brian, a writer who needs a break and who has been out of the country for some time. I encourage him to answer the call and to say, ‘Hello, Book Hall.’ There’s no caller ID, but I know the call is from B Hall and that the B is for Book, not Billie, even though Billie Hall is a friend of mine. But ‘Brian’ won’t answer it. I answer it instead and there’s a lot of noise and activity in the background, as if there’s a party going on.

Some detail – like camouflage trim on car tyres or on the edge of an unused roll of party streamer – makes it clear that agents at this agency, which may or may not be Curtis Brown, have to reread MSS every time a new draft is delivered, even if there’s little difference between one draft and the next. Good news for writers, less so for agents.

In an old Mini, I pull into a big space in front of Jill and Ahmed’s, although it doesn’t look like Grange Lane. I roll backwards and hit a car parked some distance from the kerb, but Ahmed is asleep and doesn’t notice. (10/07/09)


One Response to “Book Hall”

  1. Brian Howell Says:

    Knew I would be famous one day. I’m almost as fascinated by the second paragraph as the first.

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