Dear Novel Introductions (Courtenay Schembri Gray)

Dear Novel Introductions,

Please will you stop spoiling the plot for me?! Every time I settle down with my pipe and slippers, you roll in and tell me exactly who is going to die and how the fictional world I am about to enter will be destroyed. 

I. Don’t. Want. To. Know! 

It’s all very well and good that you want to inform me that Little Dorrit gets married at the end, but I am quite capable of finding that out for myself. I don’t need you to hold my hand through the linguistic trenches, nor do I need protection from their bullets. I can navigate this war ON MY OWN. 

It’s like being on a first date and them telling you about everything they like and dislike. There needs to be a momentum to propel me to delve further into your pages—to finger the margins. Don’t you want me to see past your extremities? Don’t you desire deep understanding? How can I give that to you if you give it all away at the first sign of interest? 

A little background information is acceptable. I like to know what the stock has been fed and so forth. I am enticed by your roots, but I like to take my time. You cannot rush these things. One must be warmed up! 

Please tell me you understand where I am coming from? You deserve to be discovered in your splendid form. Surely you don’t want to be given away, do you? You want me to keep on reading, yes? Then keep it in the rear! I look forward to unwrapping you very soon. 


A Bookishly-Frustrated Reader, 



Born and raised in the North of England, Courtenay Schembri Gray reared her head as a budding poet with a penchant for the macabre. After finding a kinship in the rich verse of Sylvia Plath, Courtenay has amassed a grand amount of publishing credits. Her poetry collection, The Maggot on Maple Street, was published by Anxiety Press in 2023. Twitter/Instagram: @courtenaywrites / Website: 


image: MM Kaufman