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Podcast: Francis Spufford on Light Perpetual

25 February 2021

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KT Bruce

Francis Spufford at the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature in Oxfordshire, in 2018

Francis Spufford at the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature in Oxfordshire, in 2018

This week, Rachel Mann is in conversation with Francis Spufford about his eagerly anticipated second novel, Light Perpetual (Faber and Faber). It is available from the Church Times Bookshop for the discounted price of £15.29.

The conversation was recorded last Saturday at a one-day online event organised by the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature. Francis also answered questions from viewers on subjects including doubt, heaven, and whether, as a writer, he sees God as a great explosion of words.

If you missed the live event, you can buy access to a recording here.

In a review published in last week’s Church Times, Angela Tilby wrote: “It is a novel, a story of London, and a set of human stories. It is also a profound and teasing meditation on time and chance and the presence in our lives of an elusive reality greater than ourselves. It works as both a novel, and as a hymn at life that begins in disaster and ends in doxology.

“The interwoven stories are of five south-London children, Jo, Valerie, Alec, Vernon, and Ben. They were among those who were pulverised in a V2 rocket attack in November 1944. But supposing time had played a trick and the bomb had not gone off, or had exploded harmlessly elsewhere?”

Francis Spufford’s first novel, Golden Hill (Reading Groups, 3 March 2017), won the Costa First Novel Award 2016. He has also written five highly praised works of non-fiction, including Unapologetic: Why, despite everything Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense (Books, 4 October 2013; Features, 7 September 2012), which was shortlisted for the 2016 Michael Ramsey Prize.


Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPadApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud, and most other podcast platforms.

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