JM Burgoyne's artistic talents have earned her a Gold Arts Award, alongside a BA and MA from the University of East Anglia. With Writer as her first foray into fictional writing, Burgoyne fearlessly unearths the depths of human emotion, drawing inspiration from her own experience of heartbreak intertwined with her interest in the power of rhythm in writing. This compelling work serves as a testament to her ability to craft prose that transcends conventional boundaries.
Luke Kierley, driven by an insatiable desire to sever the haunting ties of a tumultuous love affair, seeks solace from the writer. In a moment of vulnerability, he implores the writer to exorcise every trace of her from the depths of his memory. Now adrift in a fog of oblivion, Luke grapples with the excruciating void that gnaws at his consciousness, a bleeding chasm that serves as a constant question mark of who this woman once was. In the wake of this fractured existence, his relentless journey commences — a quest to eradicate any possibility of crossing paths with ‘her’ again. Amidst the darkness, the tale of Luke Kierley unfolds, with the haunting threads of southern gothic, classic horror, and frontier literature.
Writer is an extraordinary novel that catapults its readers into a world of unparalleled immersion. At its core, Burgoyne's masterful craftsmanship in sound intricately weaves a symphony of emotions, transcending the boundaries of traditional storytelling. While sound is often lauded for its role in cinematic experiences, Burgoyne fearlessly ventures into uncharted territory, exploring the profound impact that sound can have on the written page. Burgoyne unleashes an array of sensory marvels, using the chilling sound of an old typewriter to unleash a torrent of unease and trepidation. As the keys strike and the mechanism whirs, readers find themselves at the mercy of an ethereal force that seeks to grip their very souls. Similarly, the pervasive presence of crows, with their relentless stalking, unblinking gazes, and the rhythmic tap of their talons, plunges readers into a state of high alert. Burgoyne's harnessing of sound is nothing short of mesmerising, as each carefully curated auditory element coalesces to create an unsettling atmosphere that mirrors the inner torment consuming Luke's troubled mind. With every turn of the page, readers are ensnared within a carefully orchestrated symphony of disquietude, their senses held captive by the interplay of words and sound.
Moreover, Burgoyne's deft exploration of heartbreak and grief in Writer is thought-provoking as the novel masterfully poses the question: how far would we venture to evade the torment of heartache? In the pursuit of liberation from his lost love, Luke ventures to the utmost extreme, seeking an external force to exorcise the memory of ‘her’ from his mind. Yet, even after this arduous undertaking, peace eludes him. It is here that a powerful notion emerges from the pages — a poignant reminder that pain should not be shunned, but rather embraced as an integral part of our being. Here Burgoyne powerfully reminds us that it is our very scars that define us.
Overall, Writer is an astonishing novel that transcends literary boundaries through its ingenious utilisation of sound and unique exploration of love, loss, and heartbreak.