The Water Theatre was sent to me by Lindsay Clarke’s agent in February 2010. The book was originally called Sun at Midnight, and it was presented to me as “a powerful story of loyalty and loss, of betrayal and reconciliation”. It was described as partly being set in Italy, and I must admit this put me off a bit. Being Italian, it’s very rare for me to find an English novel with an Italian setting which feels authentic enough to make me believe completely in the story.
Nonetheless I was particularly attracted by this author, compared by the agent to John Fowles, one of my favourite writers. It also mentioned his previous successful novel The Chymical Wedding, winner of the 1989 Whitbread Award, which in actual fact didn’t ring any bells with me, as I have come to this country only fourteen years ago. I started reading The Water Theatre the same day it was sent to me and I couldn’t stop. The story and the writing urged me to read it to the very end. I really loved the power of Lindsay writing. It made me feel I was reading E.M. Forster, another of my favourite British writers.
I felt that Lindsay deserved to be brought to the attention of British readers again, and I am glad we also re-published The Chymical Wedding and are about to relaunch Sunday Whiteman and Alice’s Masque, two other acclaimed novels of his. I am convinced that Lindsay is an important author who will be read in years to come.
Elisabetta Minervini, Alma Books