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Max Porter Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Death of Francis Bacon (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Eight Ghosts(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
We'll Never Have Paris(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gifts of Reading(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Max Porter is a literary fiction and horror novelist whose working life has for the longest time been part and parcel of literature.

He started as a bookseller and was very successful at that as he was the manager of the Daunt Books Chelsea branch, which has won several awards over the years.

After working as a bookseller for many years, he found success working as an editor and rose through the ranks to become an Editorial Director at “Portobello” and “Granta Books.”
In 2015, he published “Grief is the Thing with Feathers” his debut work of fiction, and has never looked back since.

The novel made the shortlist for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Guardian First Book Award and was the winner of the Readers Award for fiction from Books Are My Bag and the International Dylan Thomas Prize.
Since he published his debut, he has also written several other novels in addition to short stories, poetry, lyrics, and essays.

As for his roots, Max Porter was born in 1981 in the town of High Wycombe. He was barely six when his father who was then 37 died and this would have a significant impact on Max.
Even though he hardly knew the man, it is perhaps from this experience that he developed a compulsion to write about grief.

He would then live in a very complicated family as his mother remarried and as such, he spent much of his childhood with his mother and brother, a lovely stepdad, and several half-siblings.
When Max was older, he went to the London-based “Courtauld Institute of Art” where he graduated with a History of Art degree. He would then get a master’s in feminism, psychoanalysis, and performance art.

Porter has come a long way since and in addition to his novels and short stories, he has also been writing for theatre.

He collaborated with Cillian Murphy the “Peaky Blinders” actor to make the stage adaptation of his debut. He also wrote “All Of This Unreal Time,” a monologue that would ultimately be adapted into a film.
As for how he writes, Max has often asserted that he loves writing from home as it provides him with a balanced family life.

As the father to three kids, it made sense to do his writing from home, as it made it easier to interact with his kids whenever he had the time.

Since he is a huge proponent of talking and emotional honesty, the highlight of his day is when he gets to sit down at the dinner table with his family.

Max Potter’s novel “Grief is the Thing with Feathers” is not an ordinary work of fiction as it is part poetry part myth, part short story, which is sometimes narrated by a metafictional crow.
The novel starts in the aftermath of the tragic death of a woman, leaving Ted Hughes her scholarly husband, and two kids to deal with the devastating loss.

The man becomes a machine-like developer of routines for the kids, who no longer have the love and care of their mother.

Into the house comes a figure from Hughes’s poetry known as “Crow,” who is a counselor who will guide them all toward recovery. He finds every surface, welly, crayon, coat, and tractor covered in grief and promises to never leave until he is no longer needed.
The work is told from the perspectives of Crow, Dad, and the kids.

Crow is known for speaking in onomatopoeic verse which is sometimes difficult to understand. However, he lives for grief, which he finds in humans whom he believes are boring except for when they are bereaved.
The boys are better at dealing with the loss of their mother as compared to their father as they are resilient and often find interesting ways of remembering their mother that are also fun.

“Lanny” by Max Potter is a work that gets its name from the lead who loves to spend much of his time losing himself in his world and wandering in the woods at one with the forest creatures and trees.
However, there is something magical and special about Lanny and he is often avoided even though the other kids do not exactly ostracise him.

The work is set in an unremarkable village sixty miles from London that could not be any more similar to the other villages in the countryside.

It has red brick cottages, one church, a pub, a few bigger houses, and council cottages dotted all over. It is a place where voices rise up speaking of needing and loving, dying and working, and walking the dogs.

It is a village that has been inhabited for hundreds of years, even if it now belongs to people who think of themselves as very modern. As such, it is a work that is all about England’s confounding present as well as its mysterious past.
However, the modern world also has a man named Dead Papa Toothwort. He is a figure that schoolchildren loved to sketch in leafy and green, as tendrils grew out of his mouth seeming to choke the life out of him.

Having somehow come to life, he intently listens to the villages, drunken confessions, fretful conversations in living rooms, gossip on the street corners. Toothwort is also listening intently for Lanny the mischievous boy who recently moved into the village.

Max Potter’s novel “Shy” is a stunning work about one night in the life of a young lad named Shy, who has a ton of problems.
At the opening of the novel, he just snuck out from “Last Chance” boarding school in the middle of the night.

Making his way across the field with a backpack filled with stones, he is still haunted by his past. He is plagued by scenes of both pleasure and trauma, moments of lust and love, and the voices of his peers, teachers, and parents.
Heading to the duck pond, his stone-filled rucksack will weigh him down just like his many delinquencies over the years have always done, resulting in him being banished to the Last Chance School for troubled young men.

Through all these, Porter shows his expertise as he brings together everything into a cohesive narrative that is both inventive, fresh, and ever-changing, but still lucid enough to keep everything steady.

Similar to his second novel “Lanny,” the author cuts through the lead’s humanity. While he seems to be a very troubled young man, society and even his family seem to have always had a chronic lack of understanding of who he is.
While those around him have done him much damage, he clings on and keeps trying, making for a beautiful and deeply moving work of art.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Max Porter

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