Ten Terrifying Questions on The Breaking of Eggs with Jim Powell

On the eve of his Australian publishing début,

we ask

Jim Powell

author of

The Breaking of Eggs

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in London in May 1949 and grew up there. I left London more than 25 years ago, but I will always be a Londoner. I was lucky enough to have about as good an education as you can get – Charterhouse School and Cambridge University.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I have never not wanted to be a writer, if that makes sense! But I always thought I would do it later in life. Whether that was prescience, self-fulfilling prophesy or lack of confidence, I have no idea. At 12 I certainly wanted to be a pop star. At 18 I think I mostly wanted to be grown-up. At 30 I wanted to be a politician. Possibly I have now achieved the second of these ambitions.

3.    What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

More than anything, a belief in strongly-held beliefs. Some people base their lives on the rock of certainty; others on the rock of doubt. The longer I live, the more I am attracted to the rock of doubt. I think, and certainly hope, that this attitude is neither weak nor indecisive, and that an admission of ignorance is the Continue reading

The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell

Last April Weidenfeld & Nicolson paid a six-figure sum for the world publishing rights for the literary debut, The Breaking of Eggs, by Jim Powell. I don’t know whether the six figures was closer to $US100,000 or $900,000 but having spent a day or two reading it last weekend, I reckon they got a bargain.

Powell starts his story with restraint and a fair degree of dry humour. Enough to whet the appetite for something that is so much more than another quirky novel with an unusual setting for this is really a book  about the barriers and restraints of a life led in principle.

The year is 1991 and 61-year-old Feliks Zhukowski, an expatriate Pole who lives in Paris, finds himself in a crumbling world. Having escaped the war and joined the Communist party in France, he has lived his life virtually alone, eking out a living with his travel guides to eastern bloc countries, countries which reflect his own hopes and ideals. Now the unthinkable has happened. The Berlin Wall has come down, and an American company wants to take over and modernize his precious publications.

So what is it like to look around and suddenly discover that Continue reading


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