Monday, October 3, 2011


I wanted to let everyone who's been following this blog over the years know why posts have been a bit less frequent of late, and why I'm taking a brief hiatus from new postings. My novel, Pyg: The Memoirs of a Learned Pig, is about to be published in the UK by Canongate books; editions in the US, Italy, and other countries will soon follow. Like everything I've done, the novel is a labor of love, and right now I plan to spend most of my energies helping to get it launched. I have a new blog for the novel, and have even done something I thought I'd never do, and started a Twitter account.

But I will not -- and never shall -- leave these regions of thick-ribb'd ice -- the Arctic is in my blood. I will still make periodic postings, and will certainly follow all of those who are out there keeping the polar torch alight. I hope those of you who have followed me here may consider picking up the novel, with the assurance that you will find therein something of the same quality of writing you've enjoyed here.


  1. Congratulations on your new book Russell - I look forward to reading it and of course your future postings here. As your current subject on the Pyg blog is "Pigs in song" I'll mention an old favourite in my family - "The night that O'Rafferty's pig ran away".

  2. Thanks Peter! I will definitely look into that song -- from what I've found so far, it looks as though this pig, too, meets an unhappy ending (well, from the pig's point of view)!

  3. Fascinating. How DID you choose this? Let me know if I can help in any way.

  4. William, thanks! Well, the novel is just another way that the interplay of history and story can bear fruit -- I first read of the "Learned Pig" in Richard Altick's brilliant Shows of London twenty years ago, and the interest just grew gradually ... but honestly, I didn't see it coming either, until I wrote it!

    It's already available at and will be in shops for the official publication date of 3 November ... I'd say, just spread the word! The people at Canongate have done an amazing job of designing the book so that it's almost as lovely to look at as it is to read.