Writing, and some other follies
“A literary triumph.”
“I am blown away by Kidland. It is extraordinary.”
“This unique initiative may challenge your way of thinking.”
“A watershed study, a crucially important book.”
“Accessible, impassioned and persuasive.”
My fiction debut The Wake, is now available in paperback. It won the Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Folio Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. A tale of lost gods, fractured lives and haunted fens, set during the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, The Wake is written throughout entirely in its own language – a shadow version of Old English made intelligible for the modern reader.
Reviewing it in The Guardian, novelist Adam Thorpe described The Wake as ‘a literary triumph.’ Philip Pullman has described the book as ‘extraordinary’, Heathcote Williams has called it ‘an astonishing feat of imagination’, and Jay Griffiths says it is ‘an extraordinary, orginal and spellbinding book.’ Also writing in The Guardian, Lucy Mangan said that reading The Wake was ‘to be immersed in the past and in a story in a way that I haven’t really felt since childhood’, and called it ’the most glorious experience I’ve had with a book in years.’
Visit this page to find out more.
The Guardian, 13 March 2015
Some years back, I was driving through northern England with a friend. On a Cumbrian A-road west of Kendal, we passed a layby in which was situated a typical British roadside snack bar: a white caravan, a couple of plastic garden chairs, pink and yellow DayGlo cardboard stars advertising chips and fried breakfasts and tea. The full English. On top of the caravan was…
Tricycle, February 2015
The greatest ecological crisis in the Earth’s history began with the emission of climate-changing gases by an organism that had spread widely across the planet, colonising many of its ecological niches. These gases – the waste products of its lifestyle – gradually accumulated in the atmosphere. For a long time nothing noticeably changed, but at some stage a tipping point was reached and the…
New Statesman, 11 December 2014
“The study of the past with one eye, so to speak, on the present, is the source of all the sins and sophistries in history,” insisted the historian Herbert Butterfield in 1931. His famous warning against what he called the “Whig interpretation of history” – viewing past events as mere stepping stones towards the present, or judging them according to contemporary prejudices – remains…
Designed and built long ago and kept on life support by spanner.