Michel Faber is an author. He was born in The Netherlands in 1960, moved to Australia with his family when he was seven years old and he eventually majored in Old, Medieval and Modern English Literature at Melbourne University. He now lives in an old station in Scotland.
I first 'discovered' Faber when I bought his book The Crimson Petal and the White. This turned out to be a wonderful novel about a prostitute in Victorian London. Not only was it beautifully written, it was also exciting and gave a modern insight into the Victorian mindset and what life was like at that time, both for the rich and the poor. AND it had a strong female lead character who just kept fascinating me. So I wanted to read more by this author.
The next book of his that I found was Some Rain Must Fall and Other Stories
. Much to my surprise, there was nothing like a historic novel there. It was a book of short stories that each seemed to contain a whole new look at the world. Sometimes a rather bizarre look, even. And then I came across Faber's debut
novel: Under the Skin
. Which is science fiction
. Sort of. And horror
. Sort of. But also literature
. And it may even make you reconsider your eating habits
, as one critic said. It certainly made me temporarily queasy about mine...
Michel Faber, in short, is a very versatile writer. He just seems to hop from one genre
to another, always maintaining his own style. I greatly admire his writing and I would recommend his books to anyone.
Biography so far:
- Under the Skin, shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. A young woman in a car drives around the English countryside, picking up hitchhikers. However, she seems to go for broad, strong men only. And only when they're on their own...The story gets ever more surreal as you find out why.
- Some Rain Must Fall and Other Stories, winner of the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award.
- The Courage Consort, about an a-capella singing group who move into a Belgian chateau to rehearse their latest commission, a monstrously complicated piece of music. Their very different characters make this even more complicated than it already is, and to make things worse there's something strange going on in the surrounding woods.
- 199 Steps. Archeologist Sian is tired of her recurring nightmares in which she meets a grisly end. She decides she needs a change in life. She joins an archaeological project at Whitby Abbey, where she finds a mystery involving a long-hidden murder, a man with big hands, a fragile manuscript in a bottle, and a rather attractive dog called Hadrian.
- The Crimson Petal and the White. London prostitute Sugar is keen to move up in the world, which is rather difficult in Victorian times, where there aren't many choices for a fallen woman. Her chance comes when she is offered a position as a rich man's mistress and ends up as his child's nanny.
- The Fahrenheit Twins, short stories.