Charles Lambert’s PRODIGAL acquired by Aardvark Bureau and TWO DARK TALES launching at Belgravia Books

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Hot on the heels of TWO DARK TALES: JACK SQUAT AND THE NICHE, Aardvark Bureau – an imprint of Gallic Books - has acquired Charles Lambert’s spectacular novel, PRODIGAL. Founder and MD Jane Aitken bought UK and British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann.

Aardvark published Lambert’s chilling novel THE CHILDREN’S HOME in 2016, a title lauded by the likes of Owen King and New York Times. Demonstrating his striking versatility as a writer, Lambert’s latest offering takes a step away from the mysterious and macabre. Instead, he interrogates the nature of family, trust, death and what we do to one another in the name of love, all within the wider context of a beautiful, yet troubling, queer coming-of-age tale.

An innovative family drama told across three timelines, PRODIGAL plunges readers into the irregular life of the hapless Jeremy: a man in his late 50s trying to scrape together a living in Paris by writing ham-erotica under the lubricious guise of ‘Nathalie Cray’. When his all-but-estranged older sister, Rachel, calls to tell him that their father is on his deathbed, Jeremy reluctantly travels back to his family home in the depths of Whitstable. Confronted with a life that he was ever-eager to escape, his return marks the start of an emotionally-fraught journey into his – and Rachel’s – chequered past.

Marred by their mother’s death in a provincial Greek hospital some 20 years earlier, and, further back, by the moment at which their family fell apart, this reawakening of shared childhood and formative experience leads the siblings on a journey rife with misunderstanding and revelation, with secrets disclosed and not disclosed, with duplicity and confession, all culminating with something that may, or may not, be precarious reconciliation. PRODIGAL refuses to offer easy answers to the questions it poses: How does one live with what one has? How does one live with what one is? And, what does it mean to love and to be loved?

As ever, all the Lambert hallmarks are there: darkly polished prose, humane wit and acute psychological insights, shot throughout with threads of dark humour. The prodigal of the title – where love (and, by extension, life) is ‘a nice little tale where you have everything as you like it’ (from the DH Lawrence epigraph to the novel) – is undermined by a more complex, and ultimately more enriching, sense of humanity as something improvised, fragile and ultimately precious.

Aitken said: 'Charles Lambert’s writing just gets better and better. In tackling the complexities of familial love, he has written a novel reminiscent of St Aubyn or Hollinghurst, and the result is raw, provocative and deeply moving.’

This Thursday, Charles will attend Belgravia Books in London to celebrate the launch of the darkly intriguing TWO DARK TALES: JACK SQUAT AND THE NICHE. The novellas have already received a warm reception, with Charlotte Heathcote of S Magazine commending the stories as ‘intense and guaranteed to foster a sense of unease’. Houman Barekat of The Times Literary Supplement called JACK SQUAT ‘charming, elegantly written’ and THE NICHE ‘deeply poignant’.

 

Visit Charles’ blog

You can also follow Charles on Twitter.

 

About Charles Lambert 

 Born in England, Charles lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of several novels including LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the short story collection THE SCENT OF CINNAMON (Salt). His work is included in THE BEST OF BRITISH SHORT STORIES 2013 (Salt) and he has won an O. Henry Award and other short story prizes.

 Praise for Charles Lambert

 ‘Charles Lambert writes as if his life depends on it. He takes risks at every turn.’ –Hannah Tinti

‘Charles Lambert is a seriously good writer.' – Beryl Bainbridge

‘Compelling reading.’ – Patricia Duncker

 ‘Charles Lambert is a terrific, devious storyteller.’ – Owen King

NEED YOU DEAD reaches #1 in Paperback as Peter James is awarded the first Rheinbach Glass Dagger Award

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Peter James’ latest novel in the gripping Roy Grace series, NEED YOU DEAD, has reached #1 in The Sunday Times paperback fiction chart this week, after topping the ebook bestseller chart in June. NEED YOU DEAD which Publishers Weekly praised as a ‘skilful twister’, is the 13th novel in the bestselling series, published in the UK by Macmillan earlier this month.

In NEED YOU DEAD, Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first, it looks an open-and-shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

The Roy Grace series has been translated into 37 languages, with 19 million copies of Peter James’ books sold worldwide. Peter recently travelled to Germany, where he was awarded the first Rheinbach Glass Dagger Award for Crime Fiction in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the crime writing genre. In Germany, Peter’s novels are published by Fischer Scherz.

To see more pictures from the event, you can follow Peter's Instagram.

See much, much more on Peter’s website.

Check out the array of excellent crime writer interviews and information on Peter James TV.

Follow Peter on Facebook, and  Twitter

 Praise for Roy Grace:

‘James’s superior 13th novel … This skilful twister shows why James was awarded the 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger.’ — Publishers Weekly Starred Review

‘Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world.’ – Lee Child

‘Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business’ – Karin Slaughter

‘Peter James is one of the most fiendishly clever crime fiction plotters’ – The Daily Mail

Lyndall Gordon’s OUTSIDERS out from Virago today

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Lyndall Gordon’s brilliant new interlinking biography OUTSIDERS: FIVE WOMEN WRITERS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is published in the UK by Virago in hardback and as an audiobook today, with the trade paperback out in South Africa and Australia soon too.

OUTSIDERS explores the moments of darkness that fuelled the creative genius of five literary women: Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf, all of whom stepped outside the bounds of propriety, challenging social norms and enduring scorn and rejection as a result. OUTSIDERS has already received positive reviews with Claire Lowdon commenting in The Times, that ‘the overlap and interplay between the generations is richly evoked’ and Tessa Hadley praising Lyndall in The Guardian as a ‘natural storyteller… with passionate intelligence.’

At Manchester Literature Festival on 16 October, Lyndall was in conversation with Libby Tempest at The Portico Library about her latest biography. Attending the event, Emma Yates Bradley of Northern Soul said ‘There was something restorative about listening to Gordon talk about these wonderful, smart, capable, literary women – these outsiders.’

Lyndall will be attending several literary festivals over the coming months to discuss the inter-connected biography and the women who shaped it. These include the Oxford Literature Festival on 24 March and Bath Festival on 12 and 13 May 2018. She will also be in South Africa in November this year.

Early next year, 3 February 2018, Lyndall will be focusing on one of these literary greats in her talk VIRGINIA WOOLF: ‘MADNESS’, WAR AND TRAUMA at Bethlem Museum of the Mind. To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Lyndall will also be reading from OUTSIDERS at the National Theatre. OUTSIDERS release coincides with a number of important centenaries for its subjects. Virago Podcast will be recording an episode with Lyndall, centring on Mary Shelley and the creation of FRANKENSTEIN.

Lyndall has written several acclaimed biographies, documenting the lives of notable female literary figures like Charlotte Brontë, Mary Wollstonecraft and Emily Dickinson, and related fascinating accounts from her own life in the memoirs DIVIDED LIVES and SHARED LIVES, all published by Virago. She has been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Comisso Prize in Italy for her Emily Dickinson biography, LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS, which has recently been republished by Fazi in a new edition. Spanish publisher Gatopardo recently acquired rights for her biography of Virginia Woolf, A WRITER’S LIFE. Her work has been sold in translation in Italy, Germany, Turkey, China and Spain.

Visit Lyndall’s website.

Praise for Lyndall Gordon:

‘A biographer with soul, she reaches into the hearts of those she brings alive for us. She makes the meaning of their lives sing and sweat as she invites us into their experiences, their longings, their struggles and their disappointments.’ – Susie Orbach, The Observer

‘Gordon is one of the best biographers writing today.’ – Catherine Hollis, Sacramento Book Review

‘A gifted storyteller.’ – Carmela Ciuraru, Miami Herald

Chatto to publish ground-breaking new memoir from Kerry Hudson, LOWBORN

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Becky Hardie, Deputy Publishing Director at Chatto & Windus, has acquired UK and Commonwealth (ex. Canada) rights to LOWBORN: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by award-winning novelist Kerry Hudson. Rights were bought from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedman as part of a two book deal.

LOWBORN is a deeply personal book which will see Hudson return to the towns she grew up in around the UK: she lived in seven places before the age of 15, in a succession of council estates and B&Bs for the homeless, where she attended nine primary schools and five secondary schools. In returning to these places, she hopes to uncover long buried truths about her own life but also seeks to illuminate what life is really like for Britain’s poorest today. Hudson brings her own experiences and her authentic voice to one of the most urgent and pressing issues of our times.  

Kerry Hudson will document her journey around the country for the Pool where she will be a regular contributor in the lead up to publication of Lowborn in January 2019. Her first piece will run on Wednesday 25 October.  You can also follow her on Twitter: @thatkerryhudson.

Kerry Hudson comments:  ‘To write a book like this, and begin to try and answer questions I’ve had since my youth, is truly something I never imagined might happen. Alongside my own story, Lowborn will also tell those of so many in the UK who are often overlooked, exploring subjects that I feel desperately need to be highlighted. I’m incredibly happy to work once again with Chatto & Windus and with an editor as brilliant and astute as Becky knowing they feel as passionately as I do that these are stories that need to be given voice.’

Becky Hardie comments: ‘Using her own troubled childhood as a map, Kerry Hudson’s Lowborn will take a hard look at what it means to be poor in post-Brexit Britain. We are so proud to be Kerry’s publisher – she is a force for good in our world – and Lowborn will be a crucially important, timely and affecting book. We need this book, just as we need Kerry Hudson.’

Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Her first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma (Chatto & Windus, 2012) was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, the Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst (Chatto & Windus, 2014), won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction the Prix Femina Etranger.

Kerry founded The WoMentoring Project and has written for Grazia, Guardian Review, Observer New Review, Metro and YOU magazine. She has represented the British Council in South Korea, mentored with IdeasTap Inspires and TLC, teaches for the Arvon Foundation and was commissioned by the Writers’ Centre Norwich to give a provocation on diversity as part of their ‘National Conversation’ series.

JULIAN STOCKWINS’ PERSEPHONE PUBLISHED IN PAPERBACK TODAY

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‘The brightest star in the firmament of today's nautical fiction.’ — George Jepson

PERSEPHONE, the eighteenth novel in Julian Stockwin's KYDD series, is published today in paperback by Hodder & Stoughton.

Thomas Kydd once again takes to the seas in the latest instalment of the heart-pounding, critically acclaimed series which has been published in seven countries including France, Japan and Russia.

Set in November 1807, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd must sail to Lisbon to aid the Portuguese Royal Family’s evacuation in the face of Napoleon’s ruthless advance through Iberia. In the chaos of the threatened city an old passion is reawakened when he meets Persephone Lockwood, a beautiful and determined admiral’s daughter from his past. However, Kydd soon becomes aware that Persephone has another suitor and he decides to throw himself into the only thing that still matters: The Royal Navy.

About the Author

At 14 Stockwin joined a tough sea-training school, followed by the Royal Navy, transferring to the Royal Australian Navy when his family emigrated. He saw active service in the Far East, the Antarctic, the South Seas and Vietnam, and was on board the Melbourne at the time of its disastrous peace time collision with the Voyager. Later he worked for NATO on the strategic development of merchant shipping.

Find out more about Julian on the Blake Friedmann website and on Julian’s website.

Follow Julian on Twitter here.

Praise for Julian Stockwin and the KYDD series

‘I was soon turning over the pages almost indecently fast’ — The Independent

‘His vantage point of a common sailor gives the nautical novel a fresh twist. In [Stockwin’s] hands … the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world.’ — The Guardian

‘As a historical fiction writer you have to keep your history in proper shape while combining it with a narrative that someone actually wants to read. Score two out of two for Julian Stockwin...It is engrossing.’ — The Daily Mail

'Stockwin’s eye for authentic detail is faultless.’ — Pennant

‘From the very first novel KYDD Stockwin climbed the dizzy heights of the bestseller lists and has stayed there ever since.’ — Craig Cabell, Book Collector and Magazine

'Stockwin writes brilliantly, bringing wonderful characters to life in a wholly realistic setting exploring history and times in thoroughly researched detail.’ — Alan Eggleston, Booksville