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This interview is taken from PN Review 60, Volume 14 Number 4, March - April 1988.

in conversation with Stuart Hood Ros Coward

The conversation took place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in October 1985, on the publication of Stuart Hood's novel A Storm from Paradise and the reissuing of his memoir Carlino (first published in 1963 under the title Pebbles from my Skull,), with a new Afterword. There are questions from the audience towards the end of the interview.

Ros Coward - Carlino is an account of Stuart's experiences after he got out of a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy in 1943, when he spent twelve months on the loose, and with Italian partisans. Storm from Paradise is a novel about a fictional figure, whose father, John Scott is headmaster of a school in the north of Scotland. He encounters Elizaveyta, a Polish-Russian emigrée who has much more radical ideas than Scott, and the novel is about their affair - to put it at its simplest level - an affair that just ends and leaves John Scott almost going back to where he was before it started.

What's interesting about both of these books is their relationship to what you might call autobiography: Carlino claims straightforwardly, at one level, to be an account of your actual experiences. Storm from Paradise is a novel fabricated on something which, at certain points in the fiction, you become explicit about having some relation to your own life. We might start by asking how you produced such totally different books - in terms of form - out of ...

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