Thomas Shapcott

Astrid Di Carlo reviews 'What You Own' by Thomas Shapcott

Astrid Di Carlo
Wednesday, 03 June 2020

Come on in. Do you like mango chutney? I myself have never had mango chutney, not liking mangos, but Phil’s an expert on making the stuff. It never lasts, but make sure you use green mangos because the old ones are too stringy.

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Thomas Shapcott uses as a basis for his novel the fascinating life story of Karoly Pulszky, who left Hungary as the disgraced Director of the National Gallery of Art and who committed suicide after two months in Queensland. Pulszky, a forceful and flamboyant man, followed in the footsteps of his distinguished father in building up Hungary’s art collection. He was married to Emilia Markus, ‘The Blonde Wonder of Budapest, the Greatest Actress in Hungary’. Financial mismanagement enabled his family’s political enemies to bring him down and he left Hungary in shame. Years after his death, one of his two daughters, Romola, married Nijinsky, and she wrote extensively about her own colourful life. Shapcott draws on her writings with considerable skill.

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Joy Hooten reviews 'Spirit Wrestlers' by Thomas Shapcott

Joy Hooton
Thursday, 22 August 2019

Spirit Wrestlers takes its title from ‘Doukhobors’, the name adopted by a strict religious sect that originated in Russia and that was harshly repressed both by the tsarist state and the church. The Society of Friends, attracted by the Doukhobors’ pacifist beliefs and by their prayer meetings, which reject liturgy ...

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'Smell', a new poem by Thomas Shapcott

Thomas Shapcott
Thursday, 27 February 2014

Underneath everything we touch is the smell
Of something too obvious to express
And yet we say there is nothing, nothing at all.

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'Laugh', a new poem by Thomas Shapcott

Thomas Shapcott
Friday, 27 September 2013

What is it about laughter that makes us lift
As if the burden might be gone or the weight
Be somehow alleviated? Laughter is just noise.

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