Last night we marked the publication of The Passenger by Maryam Sachs. The reception took place at Henry Sotheran’s bookshop in Sackville Street, where tout Londres flocked to congratulate the author. Here is the text of my short address on this sumptuous occasion.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, please lend me your ears but for a brief interlude.
We are here this evening to celebrate the coming of age of Maryam, a writer who excels in unveiling the depths of human feelings with a lyrical style of her own.
When we published her first novel, Without Saying Goodbye – translated from the French – I was confident that her literary endeavours would develop and gain momentum with the passage of time.
I was right. Her current book, The Passenger, confirms her status as a serious observer of human frailties, as well as a captivating storyteller who holds the attention of the reader with a kind of flow that has clarity and a real sense of purpose.
Her use of words has a certain elegance and sensitivity that seems to adapt itself to the characters of her novel.
There is always poetry in her writing, subtle in concept and simple in effectuation.
She’s a born writer, with a flair for the unusual in human rapport, and strange relationships that speak volumes of the modern age we live in.
The Passenger not only deserves your attention, but merits a much larger circulation despite the bleak recession in the book trade – which we must totally ignore this evening.
Maryam is a gem which is a good investment for the future. I suggest we encourage her and honour her by purchasing many copies of The Passenger, and give them to friends who in turn will hopefully do the same.
While we’re at it, her first book, Without Saying Goodbye, is still available and worth a flutter if you appreciate a story well told and brilliantly presented. Please dig deep in your pockets and show us the colour of your money. A well-spent fifty-pound note will certainly do the trick.
Please come forward and don’t be shy. You will brighten our evening and earn our gratitude.