Apr 2, 2011
PHOTO (with kind permission) taken in the Washington DC independent bookstore, Politics and Prose by Kirstin Fearnley (Copyright ©2011).
CLICK POD BUTTON ABOVE TO LISTEN Claudia Cragg talks here with Jasper Fforde who spent his early career in the film industry working on films such as 'Goldeneye' and 'The Mask of Zorro' as a focus puller. Today, though, he is the author of several novels, which cross over genres, a mixture of fantasy, crime thriller, and humorous fiction and which glory in an abundance of metafictional devices. They are noted for their literary allusions, wordplay and tight plots. His latest books in the 'Thursday Next' series has just come out and is called 'One of Our Thursdays is Missing'.
It was in 2001 that The Eyre Affair introduced the world to the wilful Thursday Next who has also featured in Lost in a Good Book (2002), The Well of Lost Plots (2003), Something Rotten (2004), and First Among Sequels (2007). She is a Swindon-based literary detective or LiteraTec. She rescues characters kidnapped from great works of literature, marries a man who then falls out of existence, meets Miss Haversham and the Cheshire Cat, hides out in unpublished novels and investigates the premature demise of Sherlock Holmes. She also becomes a reluctant celebrity, a single mother, and pits her considerable wits against the shamelessly all-powerful Goliath Corporation. Swindon is shorthand for a dreary, forgettable and rather depressing town, but nevertheless the community there was so flattered that new roads in the town have been named after Fforde characters and it was also home to the Ford Fiesta, a literary event for his fans.
His other well-known series centres on the 'Nursery Crime' theme, the first two of which were The Big Over Easy (2005) and The Fourth Bear (2006). In these, Jack Spratt and his female aide, Mary Mary are the chief characters. Fforde is currently working on the third in the trilogy.