Since the publication of Bailing Out – and actually starting a few months before – I have been writing a new novel about a self-absorbed man’s ambition to make a name for himself in the world of academia. Set principally in the Dordogne region of France, it is a story dealing with books and paintings and a plan to set up a gallery merging literature and art. My working title was An English Impressionist, which in documents I abbreviated to AEI.
Noticing the sequence of the initials I tried to come up with an inspiring title that would include, in order, all five vowels: An English Impressionist Offers Umbrella, An English Impressionist’s Only Uncle, An English Impressionist Obliges Upstairs and other such contrived nonsense.
I have been writing, typing and redrafting the novel throughout the winter and now it is being read by my special critics. As things stand, one thing I am happy with is the name: the book will have the simple three-word title, An English Impressionist.