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Author Patrick Gale joining us on for a chat on Tuesday 16th June between 1 and 2pm

(117 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 11-Jun-09 11:42:51

Patrick Gale, author of Mumsnet Best Award winner, Notes from an Exhibition will be joining us for a chat and to tell us about his new book, The Whole Day Through. If you're unable to join us on Tuesday please send your questions in advance to Patrick here.

foxinsocks Sat 13-Jun-09 12:12:44

ok, have just gone and bought the new book . Very much looking forward to reading it.

twofalls Sat 13-Jun-09 20:21:51

I've just read Notes from an Exhibition after reading the MN review - which ones should I read next?

Haven't got anything to ask - just wanted to say I read the last few pages of notes from an exhibition again and again and thought it was one of the most evocative endings I have read in a long time.

TotalChaos Sat 13-Jun-09 21:35:29

Did being on the R&J list change your life?

mollyroger Sun 14-Jun-09 11:15:01

I have only read Notes From an Exhibition, but I adored it. I work in Mental Health with a Quaker boss and we both visit Cornwall regularly so we have discussed the book endlessly!

I am also at work that day, and although I'm sure my boss would give me special dispensation it would mean outing myself to her as a MNetter and that would Not do

IwoulddoDrWho Sun 14-Jun-09 21:37:50

Oh I've thought of one. Would you write a sequel to Notes From An Exhibition? I just want to spend a bit more time with those people.

oregonianabroad Mon 15-Jun-09 07:29:52

Hello Patrick Gale,

So glad to see you will be on MN. I really loved Notes From an Exhibition, and thought the way you used the 'notes' at the beginning of each chapter as a way in to the family history was really clever. I was wondering how you came up with that idea?

And I'd also like to know more about your life as a writer: how/ where do you write? How much per week? How many drafts/ edits? That sort of thing.


GrapefruitMoon Mon 15-Jun-09 10:11:25

I've just read "The Whole Day Through" over one weekend - my children were very neglected that weekend!

Without revealing the plot too much, I liked the way the book was structured and that it is quite close to the end before I realised that the structure is not just what it seemed at the start!

In that book and "Notes from an Exhibition" the "mother" characters are very successful in their chosen fields and I suppose quite ruthless about putting their careers before their families - something that most mothers nowadays would still feel guilt about and must have been even more unusual in the era when these characters had young children. Is there a reason why this is a recurring theme?

teafortwo Mon 15-Jun-09 10:58:55

Hello Parick Gale,

Your book 'Rough Music' was a delicious little find of mine when I was young and used to spend several hours browsing in Ottakers day dreaming.

After finishing 'Rough Music' I left it laying around my parent's home. My Mum read the blurb and thought she would give it a little read too! She isn't a big reader but was somehow caught by the characters. She read the novel quickly loving every page, paragraph,sentence or perhaps even each word.

A few weeks later my Grandmother had to go to hospital and my Mum took her 'Rough Music' to fill the space between visits and treatments. My Grandmother who spent her life reading or teaching people to read drifted away into your book and said it was 'remarkable'. When I went to visit her we talked at great length. We didn't speak of her serious health problems. I was too inexperienced in life to be able to discuss such matters. Instead, we discovered things about each other by talking about the fine details of your writing style.

Reading 'Rough Music'had such an outcome of personal unity beyond the pages. (Even now my Mum and I still mention 'Rough Music' here and there to mean - "Something you and I will both like.")

I don't have a question, just, seeing as I had this opportunity to mention it to you I wanted to say thank you - You gave us a lovely little secret to share between generations and hold very tightly. smile

TheMysticMasseuse Mon 15-Jun-09 13:43:24

Patrick, i am another one who has nothing much to ask, but just wanted to let you know that Notes from an Exhibition is a masterpiece- it has touched me on so many levels and i shall be re-reading it again and again.

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 15-Jun-09 16:09:54

Absolutely huge fan of Patrick Gale !! Am reading Notes from an Exhibition for the second time as it is my choice for my book group - I just read the bit where Rachel & Morwenna run into GBH in the supermarket this afternoon - that whole chapter is so good.. I love all the descriptions of Rachel's work..I am an artist of sorts (well, illustrator) and her passion and drive to paint makes me envious - I can never feel that engulfed or consumed by my work,though I imagine bipolarity forces her into this.
When I first read it last year - on a beach in Suffolk, quite different from rugged Cornwall - we visited Snape and found a Barbara Hepworth sculpture which was a jolly coincidence. Patrick's books have also made me think about and investigate Quakerism.
On a frivolous notes, the book group ladies are all very taken with the author's photograph in the front cover.

pollycazalet Mon 15-Jun-09 18:59:32

hello Patrick

I have only just discovered your books - read Notes from an Exhibition which I picked up from a second hand book shop and have just read The Whole Day Through. I loved them both although the latter was too short for me! Read it in almost an afternoon in the park (my kids are Very Very Good).

My questions:

- What sort of feedback have you had re: the brother with Downs syndrome in the latest book? i thought it was brilliant that you made him 1) gay and 2) sexually active (I adored his traindriving boyfriend). Does it challenge some readers?

- have you been credited with converting many people to Quakerism? Am not particularly religious but you make it seem so attractive in Pictures FAE.

- Is Hedley too good to be true? Is he a portrait of your ideal man? (he could easily be mine.....)

- And finally (trivial) Did Rachel and Antony live in Regent Square in Penzance? Some friend of mine lived there years ago and I imagine that's where their house was

pollycazalet Mon 15-Jun-09 19:02:30

That bit in Notes FAE where the kids visit their mother in hospital is almost unbearable to read.

IwoulddoDrWho Mon 15-Jun-09 20:15:50

I like Grapefruit's question. I found that fascinating in the book, that Rachel had such self-belief or such a need, that she was able to shut herself away and work. Answer that one please!!

sophiaverloren Mon 15-Jun-09 20:25:35

I have just discovered Patrick Gale - specifically Notes from an Exhibition which I adored. Was really quite surprised with the familiar description of Quaker House Brussels - I lived and worked there many moons ago! Would like to ask how come he ended up there and when? It brought back great memories for me.

LaineyW Mon 15-Jun-09 22:14:28

Hello Patrick

I came to see you when you visited Cambridge to do readings and a Q&A session about Notes From an Exhibition.

What a great evening, it was fantastic to hear the words read aloud by the author.

Good luck with your very busy June! If any other Patrick Gale fans want more info on his schedule, go to:

He's a very busy man!

PhaseAte Mon 15-Jun-09 22:16:32

I hated that book about the woman in cornwall in the loft painting.

i have up half way through.
will you write a good book soon?

PhaseAte Mon 15-Jun-09 22:16:58

Gave up obv

NEVER trust stephen frys criticism again

PhaseAte Mon 15-Jun-09 22:17:40


it was so dull

yappybluedog Mon 15-Jun-09 23:02:09

norty wink

Saltire Tue 16-Jun-09 08:16:42

I won't be back from work in time for this. I have only read one of your books "Notes from an Exhibition" which I loved. I sat up till late every night reading it. I have since lent it to 6 work colleagues who all said the same. I am going off to buy your new book today I think. Other women covet shoes, I covet books.
I'd like to know what you read when you aren't writing? Do you have a favourite author that you read over and over, or do you try different ones

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 16-Jun-09 09:29:08

why didn't you like it PhaseAte ?

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 16-Jun-09 09:30:10

Patrick - I know Armistead Maupin is a fan of yours - he is one of my big favourites- is it reciprocated ?

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 16-Jun-09 10:57:12

Sadly won't be able to join you but would just like to say the 'Notes on and exhibition' was the only book in our book clubs 3 year history that everyone loved.

PatrickGale Tue 16-Jun-09 12:57:23

Test9ng testing. Patrick Gale here on a very very slow laptop with a painfully slow broadband connection in a leafy hotel in tetbury...

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 16-Jun-09 12:58:23

hello ! I'm here - was worried I wouldn't make it in time !

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