Charlie, Burma, Charlie Ashton discussed on Little Atoms
Choji in Harding is the author of four previous novels, the solitude of Thomas cave, the spy game, which was a BBC book at bedtime and shortlisted the core award painter of silence, which was shortlisted the orange prize for fiction in two thousand twelve and the gunnery and latest novel land of the living. We're gonna be talking about today. Georgina welcome to collateral. So how would you describe land of the living? It's a story about a man returning from war people, some people call it wound oval, but I think in a way, it's a piece noble. It's about what you can say about the war when you come home to the peace, and how the two things don't under the peace doesn't understand the war on the war doesn't fit into the peace. And that's what that's the idea that I really started from. So what it's about is it Charlie returning from the Burma campaign during the second World War, but he's actually lost in the jungle. So he's observed the wars, and it was an individual rather than in the army, and he's come home, and he's married and he's living on the farm in Norfolk and all four of your previous novels. So where the deal with memory or go. The legacy of war violence in some sort of way. And this does as well. What is about that theme? The interesting, I think one tends to lead to another because the preoccupations that you have inviting lead on into the next book, even though they make may take on a completely different character in a different place, or whatever it's obviously a very fascinating essential subject. So interesting to write about the very structure of this book also deals with ideas of memory and remembering tell us something about the way the book is written because it's written in. Did it starts off at sale carries out in very short passages and it flips backwards and forwards in time about the war into the presence. Something me about the structure. I think the structure came to me intuitively, really as my interest in what's going on in Charlie's mind when he's come home. And it's also moving between Charlie and Claire his wife and it's moving between thus memories of of the jungle in inaugural. Landa the borders of India and Burma and his everyday experience of farming in Norfolk, and I feel that it's just following the rhythm of thought of memory and memory is not a corner logical thing. So us something more about Charlie Ashton. Who is Charlie ask goes to the war. I suppose in his twenties as a young man, he's got a Gulf right at home. He finds himself in one of the kind of least known, but actually most horrific battles of the second World War co Hema, which was where the the Japanese advance across Asia was finally turned back just just on the very borders of India. And there's been a terrible siege. And he's in the relief force relieving the siege. And the Japanese flee into the jungle and the Japanese then have to work their way all the way back through the jungle to Singapore and the procedure fighting them right away who Burma, but he actually only experiences the very beginning of that Japanese retreat, and he's actually becomes separated. From his comrades on is lost in the jungle. And he comes from I suppose a steady middle class upper middle class English rural background and when he gets back from the war he inherits his uncle's farm. So he's put in a position. A very very steady peacetime job. And actually after the second World War when food resources in Britain, the farmers were supposed to be the heroes. So he's got to deal with with farming, obviously is incredibly hard work. But he's going into a winter farming. Also gives a lot of time for contemplation. Yeah. I know that very much because my husband's now, a former he didn't used to be a farm, but we actually he's been farming for the last five years or so and learning something of it alongside him though. I don't drive a tractor now. Claire something about class Charlie Clinton met before he went away in the war where. About that meeting..