Julius Winsome: Gerard Donovan
Irish-born writer, Gerard Donovan, wanted Julius Winsome, his third novel, to whisper to the reader – and readers will be seduced by Julius’s quiet wisdom, just as his springtime lover briefly is: ‘All that silence waves across you, Julius, like the long grass. You make me feel like a poet.’ Readers will yearn, too, for his quiet life, in a log cabin filled with over 3000 books, the most significant being the entire works of William Shakespeare. But Julius’s home is in deeply wooded country, popular with recreational hunters, and his only company is his beloved dog. His father had turned to A Winter’s Tale in his dying days and, like A Winter’s Tale, this novel has, at its heart, the havoc wreaked by delusion and the legacy of revenge and loneliness. There is something else in this novel: a layer of despair about the American love affair with weaponry, and what this can mean for someone who doesn’t share this love. Julius says: ‘Before this I knew the normal happiness in being alone disturbed by one absence’, and it is the before and after of accumulated loss that will take the reader on a deeply satisfying, poetic and savage journey. And then, that log cabin may not look so inviting after all.