Monique Roffey’s ‘terrible, beautiful and compelling’ novel HOUSE OF ASHES (Simon & Schuster) has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards in the Novel category. Other shortlisted novels include two Booker shortlisted novels: THE LIVES OF OTHERS by Neel Mukherjee and HOW TO BE BOTH by Ali Smith, as well as Colm Toibin’s NORA WEBSTER.
The winners of the five categories – Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – will be announced on 5 January 2015, with the overall winner - the 2014 Costa Book of the Year – being announced on 27 January. The winners of each category will receive £5,000, with the overall winner receiving a further £30,000.
The judges said of HOUSE OF ASHES: “A tautly-constructed story which plots the violence and upheaval of revolution and its aftermath, it is both moving and memorable.”
HOUSE OF ASHES is Roffey’s third Caribbean-set novel, again adeptly exploring the personal and political against the troubled backdrop of a fictional island ‘paradise’. Inspired by real events, it is haunting story of Ashes and Breeze, two disaffected young men who follow the charismatic Leader into a disastrous coup. Set over the period of the siege of the House of Power, where captors and their hostages see each other’s most brutal but also most vulnerable sides, HOUSE OF ASHES is about fathers and sons, about failures of leadership – but also about how we confront our shadow sides, and about coming through wreckage committed to peace.
Roffey’s THE WHITE WOMAN ON THE GREEN BICYCLE was shortlisted for the Orange (now Baileys) Women’s Prize for Fiction. ARCHIPELAGO was the 2013 recipient of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and was shortlisted for the 2014 Orion Prize.
Visit Monique's website here.
Praise for HOUSE OF ASHES:
‘Deploying the deep, humane wisdom that has become [Roffey’s] hallmark… the novel delivers its final, bittersweet coup with a fearlessness and grace that richly satisfies.’ – Liz Jensen, The Guardian
‘Grimly absorbing... Roffey’s knuckle-whitening novel goes to the heart of questions of political temptation and folly; it grips from beginning to end.’ – Ian Thompson, Telegraph
‘[a] laudable piece of literary work.’ – Raoul Pantin, Trinidad Express
‘Monique Roffey’s tragicomic take on this almost forgotten episode, strips revolution of any pretence of glamour… as funny as it is unsettling.’ – David Shaftel, Financial Times