Joining Tom Jackson to discuss the postcards from their pasts are award-winning novelist A.L.KENNEDY (Day, All the Rage, What Becomes, The Blue Book) and award-winning non-fiction writer KEGGIE CAREW (Dadland, Quicksand Tales). We explore family secrets revealed by postcards, the complicated pleasures of smutty jokes, and where best in your study to display your postcard collection. Along the way we will meet a Barcelonan plastic surgeon, the lightest patriot in Trafalgar Square and spend a holiday in a mouldy tent. Two great story-tellers take their prompts from postcards. Wish you were here?

Newquay, 1974. “This is not the place it used to be. Too many longhaired layabouts.”
Mevagissey, 1980. “We erected the tent without any trouble but had to spend some time wiping it down as there was something black all over it, which Geoff took to be mould.”
Keggie’s postcard of Crazy Jane by Richard Dadd, 1855. It was sent to Keggie in 1974 and resonated with various different aspects of her life at the time, as the message suggests, “I saw this and thought of you…”
The Ramblas, Barcelona, 1975. A postcard sent by Keggie Carew to her mother. Keggie was unhappily working as an au pair, but it all came to an end when Franco died…
A.L. Kennedy has a log-standing fascination with the comic postcards she saw as a child. These are three examples she bought on Sark.
The Insurance Exchange Building, Chicago, 1919. A card sent by Keggie’s great-grandfather to his son, her grandfather. The card was sent but had to be redirected as Keggie’s father was about to be born, amid family complications across three generations…
A card sent by Keggie’s father, Tom Carew, 1946. This card was one of the pieces of evidence discovered by Keggie that her father had been married during the war, before her married Keggie’s mother. The liner has an “intervention” – Tom Carew has marked Our Cabin.”
A.L. Kennedy’s postcard of a Cartier-Bresson photograph of Coronation day for George Vl, 1937. Trafalgar Square. The woman being held up to get a better view reminds Alison of her grandmother.
As a token of her all-encompassing interest in the life of a Lancaster bomber crew in her novel Day, A.L. Kennedy keeps this postcard of An Improvised Test of an Under-carriage, a 1940 war painting by Scottish painter Keith Henderson in her study. The man in the air is testing the wing in the unofficial style – by jumping up and down.
A singing postcard from Italy. Piazza Trieste e Trento
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