Top Shelf With Madeleine Gray



Madeleine Gray is the author Green Dot – a book so readable it forced its agent to leave a party with Mick Jagger just so she could finish it. It became the talk of the London Book Fair, was quickly sold into multiple territories, and had film rights secured before it was even released. About the joys and indignities of coming into adulthood against the pitfalls of the twenty-first century; and about the winding, torturous and often very funny journey we take in deciding who we are and who we want to be, Green Dot is as droll and daring as it is relatable and profound.

If you’re partial to a sad girl novel with a side of millennial malaise, you will want to pick up a copy quick smart. I caught up with Madeleine to find out about her reading life.

An author whose books you will always read.

I read everything that Scottish author Ali Smith writes. I started doing Arts/Law at uni, and I hated the law component, and I read Ali Smith’s How to be Both for an English Literature course and just fell in love with her writing – so I immediately dropped out of Law and switched to English, and then proceeded to study and write about Ali Smith’s work in my honours thesis, my Master’s, and now my PhD. Smith is so extremely clever, so playful, and so joyous with language. Start with How to be Both or Like, and go from there. You’ll be hooked.

A book you read in a single sitting.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwake Emezi is the perfect binge read. Emezi can write in any genre and they smash it, but this one is a deliciously gluttonous rom-com about a young woman who falls for her boyfriend’s father. It’s also about grief and rediscovering vitality – but for me, it’s the pure sexual tension that glues my eyes to the page. It is so hot and fun.

A book you think more people should read.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker is a wonderful debut novel that did not get as much buzz as it deserves! It’s about two best friends who meet studying visual art at college, and then they become artistic collaborators, animating their own autobiographical films. It’s one of the best representations of female friendship charged with eroticism, and has some of the most compelling descriptions of the art-making process. It’s kind of like Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy meets road-trip movie? I love it.

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Read the full with Madeleine Gray interview at PRIMER.


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