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Liminal

Sponsored by GRIFFIN BOOKSHOP

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THIS WEEK we are featuring a new novel by Chris Keil, entitled Liminal, priced at 15.50 euros. Chris is visiting the Griffin Bookshop on October 26 and will be reading from his book, and answering questions.

His novel is an exciting literary mystery in the style of a highbrow Robert Goddard. The title word, liminal, comes from the Latin for ‘threshold’, relating to an intermediate state, phase, or condition. For example, in the liminal state between life and death.

Aled is used to his dad Geraint waxing lyrical about some saint’s cliff top lookout; some Greek temple or another hosting a thousand sacred prostitutes; some village near Corinth. Geraint is the county archaeologist, after all. So when travel agent Aled takes a trip to the same Peloponnesian village of Corinth, his father is surprised.

When Aled fails to return on the eve of his marriage, Geraint becomes alarmed and sets out on his trail. This quest, which is also a pilgrimage, will change all those involved.

The novel shows those thresholds of choice, those liminal moments and places where a door may open into another world or at the very least, show another way of relating to the one we have.

For the author, liminal means the sense that life isn’t really being lived unless it’s a series of transformations or revelations. It must have journeys, awakenings, flashes of insight and love as well as painful experiences like loss, bereavement, ambiguities of memory and being dumped.

Chris was drawn to Greece as a setting for the same reasons that the characters were drawn in by it and he said: “Our sense of time comes from places which seem transparent, where the past can be sensed through the surface of the present. Memory even seems to free itself from experience. Certainly, this is what some of the characters in the book are trying to do”.

Phrases that have been used to describe this work include “arrestingly vivid”, “quietly powerful” and “charged quality that conveys the mysteries pulsing behind the everyday surfaces of things”.

Chris Keil has worked as a sheep-farmer, a journalist and a teacher of English as a foreign language in a number of European countries and he now lives in Carmarthenshire. Recently returning to academic life and now lecturing worldwide, he has published on dissonant heritage and traumatic memory at Auschwitz.

His first novel, The French Thing, was published in 2002 to widespread critical acclaim and Liminal is his second novel. Chris has family connections with the Algarve and the Griffin Bookshop is delighted that he has accepted an invitation for a reading and discussion session.

The latest in our “Meet the Author” discussions is on October 26 at Griffin Bookshop in Almancil from 11.30am until 1pm, where wine and nibbles will be served, and anyone is welcome.