The Marsh House
Zoë Somerville is a writer and English teacher. Her debut novel, The Night of the Flood, was published in September 2020 by Head of Zeus. It is inspired by her home county, Norfolk and the devastating flood of the 1950s. Her second novel, The Marsh House is set in the same austere seascape of the Norfolk coast and is about mothers, daughters and ghosts. It was published in March, 2022, also by Head of Zeus.
Zoë has worked as an English teacher all over the world. This has included teaching English in Hagi, Japan, the Loire Atlantique, France and the Basque Country; several years in comprehensive schools in South London, Bath and Bristol; four years for the Hospital Education Rehabilitation Service in Somerset; and an international school in Washington, D.C. After completing a creative writing MA at Bath Spa University in 2016, she now combines writing and tutoring, and is settled in Bath with her family.
The Uncanny in The Marsh House
11.00am - 12.00pm
The 'uncanny' is one of the key motifs in Gothic fiction, defined by Freud as expressing the particular terror of the familiar made unfamiliar.
The Marsh House is a dual time-line story of two women decades apart (in the 1930 and 1960s) linked by the mysterious photograph of a house. The story includes many uncanny tropes including the past seeping into the present, psychological alienation, the double and doubts about reality. Above all, it uses the house and landscape to create uncanny effects, making the familiar simultanously frightening and strange.