This just in from…Marc Martin

Marc Martin has been kind enough to put my mind at ease. Those of you who read my recent review of Marc Martin’s A River may remember my foot note:

The river looks like the Thames to me and interestingly, our narrator’s lines on the opening page, “There is a river outside my window. From where I sit, I can see it stretching into the distance in both directions”,  mirror Conrad’s description of the Thames in the opening of Heart of Darkness, “The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway”. I couldn’t help but think there are references to HoD scattered throughout A River and would be interested to know if that is what Mark Martin had in mind when creating this visual feast of a book.

Well, Marc actually came back to me to let me know the river in A River isn’t in fact the Thames. It is a fictional amalgam of the Thames, Seine and Hudson. Ok. So I lost that one BUT I was’t that far off with my thought about Heart of Darkness. Marc told me there is a “little” HoD in A River, “Love the mood captured, but not really into the colonialism, or the ‘othering’ of nature/environment though”. Fair enough, Marc.


About Stephanie Cummings

Stephanie Cummings is a former BBC Journalist sharing her lifetime love of children's literature and illustration with her two young daughters -- and now with you, too, through Two in a Tepee. Stephanie has an academic background at the undergraduate level in literature and has master's degrees in both anthropology (material and visual culture) and design. She started her professional life in an art gallery and ended up producing radio programmes for BBC Radio 4, before deciding to become a stay at home mum. She lives with her handsome husband (who is sometimes invited into the tepee) in leafy north London.

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