Six Questions XX: Paul Kingsnorth

English writer Paul Kingsnorth is perhaps best known to Six Questions readers for his novel The Wake (Gray Wolf Press, 2014). The Wake received critical praise and significant media attention (see, for example, coverage in The Guardian, The New York Times, and NPR), and features a variety of topics rarely represented in modern popular culture.

The novel’s protagonist, Buccmaster of Holland, is to some extent inspired by Hereward the Wake, a figure celebrated in English folklore for his resistance to the 11th century Norman invasion of England. Buccmaster venerates the deities of Anglo-Saxon paganism, a topic the author mentions throughout the novel, and Kingsnorth’s decision to pen The Wake in a surprisingly approachable blend of Modern English and elements of Old English—what he refers to as a “shadow-tongue”—makes the book particularly notable to audiences interested in the relevance, employment, and reception of Old English in the modern era.

Referencing the early Germanic concept of fate, Kingsnorth founded the Wyrd School in 2018, which describes itself as “a writing school unlike any other”.

Read the interview here.