susan hill

  • The Albatross by Susan Hill

    susan hill the albatross

    The novella isn’t a hard form for writers to crack, but it seems that publishers haven’t ever got it.  As for readers, I am not sure.  I’ve certainly never heard any complaints that there is something inherently wrong with the form of the novella, but yet authors to this day can expect a shudder of dread rippling across their publisher’s offices if they happen to breathe the word out loud. I'm sure that didn't happen in the case of The Albatross by Susan Hill, but you do never know.

    I’ve always assumed that this doubt concerning the novella was to do with money.  It simply isn’t much cheaper to produce a short book, than it is to produce a longer one, and so we do tend to find the shelves stocked with full length fiction, despite the often irresistible nature of the novella form.