Trezza Azzopardi’s THE HIDING PLACE is re-published today by Picador, as part of their Picador Classic series. Originally published in 2000, this intensely lyrical debut novel portrays the life of Dolores – the youngest of six daughters, growing up amidst a disintegrating family in 1960’s Cardiff.
When it was first released, THE HIDING PLACE won the 2001 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize. The edition published today features a beautiful new cover and an introduction by D. J. Taylor.
Dolores is the youngest of six daughters. Growing up in the 1960s in Cardiff's poverty stricken Tiger Bay, her life is cursed from the start when, on the day of her birth, her father gambles and loses everything on a bet that Dolores will be a boy. As Dolores grows older, we see the world through her eyes: Tiger Bay is a place of gaming rooms and cafes, of crumbling houses and burning secrets, and for Dolores and her sisters, their home is a dangerous place, filled equally by fear and love. Thirty years later, the estranged sisters return to Tiger Bay for their mother's funeral. It is a time of consolation, of memories and nightmares, and a chance for Dolores to understand the tragedy that has shaped her existence.
Praise for THE HIDING PLACE:
‘Vivid, moving, alive: The Hiding Place opens up ordinary-looking doors to let us into an intense and brilliantly foreign world.’ – Andrea Ashworth
'Dark and stifling images abound in this powerful first novel… Azzopardi is an assured magician when it comes to tricks to keep the reader turning the pages, despite the harshness of her material… An astonishingly accomplished book.’ – The Independent
‘THE HIDING PLACE has been compared with the work of Frank McCourt and Andrea Ashworth and it is not hard to see why. But Azzopardi’s book is fiction and it has a certain poise and cohesion of theme that cannot be achieved in memoir…. Azzopardi has written a scalding, thrilling book about the havoc and despair it is possible to wreak inside a family; but also how the bonds formed within it cannot be destroyed by violence, poverty, time, fire – anything.’ – The Observer
‘The unsentimental quality and the constant beauty of Azzopardi’s writing … She has clearly mastered principles of precision and control, holding the reader throughout with a deft touch.’ – The Times
‘A writer of remarkable sensibility and literary prowess …readers will be riveted by this brilliantly psychological prose poem of a family united only in helplessness and despair, in a poverty-stricken corner of the world rarely seen in fiction.’ – Publishers Weekly
Trezza Azzopardi was born and grew up in Cardiff, and teaches Creative Writing at UEA. Her novels REMEMBER ME (2004) and WINTERTON BLUE (2007) were both listed for the Wales Book of the Year. Her latest novel, THE SONG HOUSE, was serialised on BBC Radio 4. The novella, THE TIP OF MY TONGUE, based on one of the tales from The Mabinogion, was published in October 2013.