The Bloater By Rosemary Tonks

Lucy Scholes at The Paris Review:

The poet and novelist Rosemary Tonks wrote her third novel, The Bloater, in just four weeks in the autumn of 1967, which would have been impressive by any standards but her own. She had originally set out to finish it in half the time and had hoped it would earn her “a lot of red-hot money.” (Here, she fell short too). But the result was a dizzying, madcap story that was a hit with the critics. Again, most writers would have been over the moon with such a reception, but Tonks could never be so predictable. “It just proves the English like their porridge,” she once reportedly replied to congratulations from her editor. To borrow a confession from The Bloater’s canny narrator—a young woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tonks herself: “I knew perfectly well what I was doing.”

Between 1963 and 1972, Tonks published two collections of poetry, six novels, a large body of literary journalism, and an experimental sound-poem. She was a serious stylist, writing in the tradition of French nineteenth-century novels and those preeminent portraitists of the modern metropolis: Baudelaire and Rimbaud.

more here.