Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden
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Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden

16th May 2022 - Niven Govinden

Immersive and beguiling -
 Diary of a Film
by Niven Govinden

Diary of a Film

If you've been missing the simple joys of wandering around a European city, lost in the narrow streets and local atmosphere, then allow Niven Govinden's new novel Diary of a Film to take you away for a little while. This is a meditative novel about cinema, flâneurs, and queer love, which begins as an auteur arrives at a prestigious European festival to premiere his latest film, and falls under the spell of the city's secrets, both historic and personal. Here Govinden introduces his novel, and generously shares some of the books which inspired and intrigued him during the creative process of writing his new work.



"Diary of a Film", my sixth novel, is a love letter to cinema but also to books, lost art, and the dreaming that comes from walking around European cities. I always think of novels in terms of generosity: as well as giving the reader one particular vision, it should also direct you to further points of interest. How many odysseys have begun after reading a much-loved novel? For me, countless journeys. In this spirit, here's a reading list comprising novels, essays, biography, interviews, travelogue, photographic plates and recipes, intended to keep you enveloped in the world of "Diary of a Film" as well as leading you to the mist that surrounded me as I wrote it. Happy travels. 


Gilbert Adair - "The Dreamers" (Faber)

James Baldwin - "Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone" (Penguin)

Giorgio Bassani - "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" (Penguin)

Robert Bresson - "Notes on the Cinematograph" (NYRB Classics)

Ray Carney ed. - "Cassavetes on Cassavetes" (Faber) 

Teju Cole - "Blind Spot" (Faber)

Anna Del Conte - "Gastronomy of Italy" (Pavilion)

Lauren Elkin - "Flaneuse" (Vintage)

Philip French - "I Found It At The Movies: Reflections of a Cinephile" (Carcanet)

Luigi Ghirri - "Complete Essays" (Mack)

David Llewellyn - "A Simple Scale" (Poetry Wales Press)

William Maxwell - "The Folded Leaf" (Vintage)

Jan Morris - "Venice" (Faber)

Rachel Roddy - "Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome" (Hodder)

Domenico Starnone - "Ties" (Europa)

Jean Stein - "West of Eden" (Cape)

Frederic Strauss ed. - "Almodovar on Almodovar" (Faber)

Wim Wenders - "Instant Stories" (Thames & Hudson)


Niven Govinden


Niven Govinden is the author of five previous novels, most recently This Brutal House, which was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize and shortlisted for the Polari and Gordon Burn Prizes.


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Diary of a Film
Niven Govinden
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