Paul Kingsnorth

The Wake

My first novel, set during the Norman invasion of 1066, won the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize

Wake cover

‘Has a fierceness about it that gives it real heft … a literary triumph’ – Adam Thorpe, The Guardian

‘Strange and extraordinary … this unusual novel has power. It lingers in the imagination.’ – The Times

‘Kings­north has created a work that is as disturbing as it is empathetic, as beautiful as it is riveting.’ – Eimear McBride, New Statesman

‘Haunting … more truly relevant to where we are now than many of the other books on the Man Booker longlist.’ – Daily Mail

‘My top book of the year so far. Just superb.’ – Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize

‘The message of this extraordinary novel is as honest and timely as it is discomforting’ – Times Literary Supplement

‘Reading Kingsnorth’s book is to be immersed in the past and in a story in a way that I haven’t really felt since childhood. It’s time travel between hard covers, and the most glorious experience I’ve had with a book in years’ – Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

‘In its refusal to yield easy answers, Kingsnorth’s extraordinary, unsettling tale of the 11th Century makes not only a surprisingly satisfying novel, but a deeply modern one, too’ – Melissa Harrison, Caught By The River

‘Extraordinary’ – Philip Pullman

‘A resonant, eloquent ballad of English identity, pride and fierce independence. It is a thrilling story. Read it out loud. It is like nothing else.’ - Mark Rylance

‘An extraordinary, original and spellbinding book’ – Jay Griffiths

‘An astonishing feat of imagination’ – Heathcote Williams

The Wake is a historical novel set in the deep mythic past. It is hung carefully on the known historical facts about the almost forgotten, decade-long war of underground resistance which spread across England in the decade after 1066. Most importantly – certainly most strangely – it is written entirely in its own language: my interpretation of Old English, recreated for modern eyes and ears.

The Wake is an ageless story of the collapse of certainties and lives; a tale of lost gods and haunted visions, narrated by a man of the Lincolnshire fens bearing witness to the end of his world. It was published in April 2014 by Unbound.

Designed and built long ago and kept on life support by spanner.