Shena Mackay - Dunedin - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349007205
    • Publication date:07 Apr 2016
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Dunedin

By Shena Mackay

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

One of Shena Mackay's most acclaimed novels. A story of long consequences, betrayal, dark humour and redemption.

New Zealand, 1909. After weeks at sea the new minister, Jack Mackenzie, arrives from Scotland with his unhappy wife and children in tow. A keen naturalist, he is more enthralled by the botanical - and carnal - delights of Dunedin than in the wellbeing of his flock.
In London, eighty years later, Jack Mackenzie's descendants are middle-aged, searching for a way out of their loneliness. Olive, embittered with her loveless life, steals a baby from a crowded tube; William, distraught at the death of a pupil, abandons his job as headmaster and struggles to fill his empty days. Jay Pascal, a young New Zealand vagrant of mysterious parentage arrives in London, looking for a place where he might belong.

Biographical Notes

Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh in 1944. Her writing career began when she won a prize for a poem written when she was fourteen. Two novellas, Dust Falls on Eugene Schlumberger and Toddler on the Run were published before she was twenty. Redhill Rococo won the 1987 Fawcett Prize, Dunedin won a 1994 Scottish Arts Council Book Award, The Orchard on Fire was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize and, in 2003, Heligoland was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and Whitbread Novel Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Southampton.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349007199
  • Publication date: 07 Apr 2016
  • Page count: 432
  • Imprint: Virago
She writes like an angel wielding a scalpel, dissecting her characters with sublime, sharp-edged prose — Guardian
Her prose is flawlessly seductive and comic, confidently witty and sensual — Julie Myerson, Independent on Sunday
She is a dazzling sort of a writer — Rachel Cooke
Shena Mackay notices a London that passes most writers by . . . Her London is not a convenient backdrop - it is the capital itself, vividly and freshly set down in glancing detail — Paul Bailey, Independent
A rich feast to be enjoyed page by page as Mackay, in often dazzling prose, describes the hilarious antics of bibulous writers or, with moving lyricism, those 'surprised by joy' — Kirkus
What a superbly imaginative writer she is ... Mackay takes large risks, but when they come off the result is breathtaking — John Banville
An adroit novel that incisively but compassionately deploys a dysfunctional family with familiar problems - isolation, failed hopes, mutual deceit - in comic configurations — New York Times
Sphere

Inheritance

Jenny Eclair
Authors:
Jenny Eclair
Little, Brown

The Last Adventure of Napoleon Sunshine

Pascal Ruter
Authors:
Pascal Ruter

At the age of eighty-five my grandfather Napoleon decided he needed to try something new . . . Everything starts to go south when Napoleon leaves his wife. An eighty-five-year-old former boxer with a restless, youthful spirit, Napoleon decides to say to hell with it all! He wants a new life. With his ten-year-old grandson Leonard Sunshine, he embarks on a moving adventure, a rebellion against everything that takes the fun out of life. Above all, Leonard is determined to spare his grandfather the fate of the elderly - his final years spent exiled in a retirement home. The chaotic duo adopt a dog, drive a fake taxi, escape to the seaside, sabotage door-to-door salesmen and plot to kidnap a famous radio star. From the heart of Paris to the coast of Normandy, The Last Adventure of Napoleon Sunshine is a moving, life-affirming and melancholy tale of new beginnings and the importance of family.

Corsair

The Other Mother

Matthew Green
Authors:
Matthew Green

The one he loves most, is the one he knows leastThirteen-year-old Michael Parsons is dealing with a lot. His father's sudden death; his mother's new husband, Glen, who he loathes; his two younger siblings, who he looks after more and more now his mother works extra shifts.And then one day, Michael wakes up and his mother is gone. In her place is an exact, duplicate mother. The 'other mother'. No one else seems to notice the real version is missing. His brother, his sister and even Glen act as if everything's normal. But Michael knows in his heart that this mother is not his. And he begins to panic.What follows is a big-hearted coming-of-age story of a boy struggling with an unusual disorder that poses unparalleled challenges - but also, as he discovers, offers him unique opportunities.

Dialogue Books

XX

Angela Chadwick
Authors:
Angela Chadwick
Virago

The Atmospheric Railway

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

Redhill Rococo

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The Artist's Widow

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

The Artist's Widow is the story of the good, the bad and the untalented. It begins on a hot August evening in Mayfair, at a private viewing of the "Last Paintings" of John Crane. Among those present are Crane's widow, Lyris, also a painter; her friend Clovis Ingram, a middle-aged bookseller; Zoe, a beautiful young television filmmaker; and Lyris's great-nephew Nathan Pursey, a boorish young conceptual artist on the make.None of them realizes that the evening will change their lives forever.The Artist's Widow is a novel about the nature of the artistic impulse - about friendship, betrayal, courage and cowardice. It is also a London novel, exploring the mental and physical geography of the city in all its variety.

Virago

The Orchard on Fire

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

'What made the orchard miraculous was an abandoned railway carriage, set down as if by magic, its wheels gone, anchored by long grass and nettles. Ruby and I stared at it and each other . . . dark-windowed, out of place in a thicket of thorns, it was the perfect hide-out, house, the camp of our dreams'When April's parents move from London to rural Kent she makes her first best friend. With flame-haired, fearless Ruby, April shares secrets, dares and laughter. But Ruby has secrets of her own -bruises that she hides.Also seeking April's friendship is old Mr Greenidge, immaculate in his linen suit, with eyes like blue glass. He follows her around the village with his beguiling dachshund, and wants to learn everything about her.

Virago

Dancing On the Outskirts

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

Old Crow

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

The transition of Coral Fairweather from village beauty to village outcast begins in the short golden days of autumn with the fathering of her first child by a vagrant painter. Soon, fuelled by the suspicion and gossip of those who see, in Coral's hand-to-mouth existence and crumbling cottage, a rejection of all that is respectable, rather than the fierce pride that prevents her from seeking help from the Authorities or from the man who would love her. Spurred on by a malicious widow, the Parish Council agree to purge their neat village of this 'pariah' and her children. This bitter witch hunt speeds towards a terrifying climax in a distinctive novel enriched by crystalline images of the natural world.

Virago

An Advent Calendar

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

The story begins as an ambulance pulls away from the butcher's shop, taking Mick to the hospital after he has carelessly hacked off a finger while preparing John's order. John's wife, Marguerite, and two young children are forced to live with his uncle until he can find work. Marguerite has a brief affair, an escape from the poverty and boredom of day-to-day life - and John, attempting to make amends for Mick's lost finger, is chased down by the butcher's buddies. These tumultuous events all take place during the first twenty-five days of December, leaving each character facing a Christmas of poverty, impossible love and loneliness.

Virago

A Bowl of Cherries

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

Babies in Rhinestones and Other Stories

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

In 'Babies in Rhinestones', the Alfred Ellis School of Fine Art and the Araidne School Elliot School of Dance and Drama stand side by side, much to their proprietors' dismay. The two trade insults daily as they exchange the mail that so often ends up in the wrong letterbox. The tension increases when the owners find that they have adopted the same stray cat.Here is a wonderful collection of short stories by the writer known for 'the Mackay vision, suburban - as kitsch, as unexceptional, and yet as rich in history and wonder as a plain Victorian terrace house, its threshold radiant with tiling and stained-glass birds of paradise, encased in leaded lights' Guardian.

Virago

Dreams of Dead Women's Handbags

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The World's Smallest Unicorn and Other Stories

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The Laughing Academy

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

The Laughing Academy is as witty, black and compelling as anything Shena Mackay has written. From antiques fayres to Cloud-Cuckoo-Land, geriatric wards to Crystal Palace, this collection offers a journey around the bizarre yet familiar characters and settings that Mackay has made her own. There are Roy and Muriel Rowley, the fun-running charity-junkies who give blood by the gallon (offending their daughter's religious principles); we meet Gerald Creedy who only loves three beings - his twin brother, Harold, and his two tortoises, Percy and Bysshe - and the mysterious lodger Madame Alphonsine who has the strange powers to make things (including tortoises) disappear; and then there is the rather arrogant bestselling novelist who gives a reading at a women's bookshop only to find, to her horror, that two of her old schoolfriends are in the audience.

Virago

The Virago Book Of Such Devoted Sisters

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

Never were there such devoted sisters...or so the song would have it. Though some may be inseparable, for others the relationship arouses intense, tangled emotions. Louisa May Alcott, Mary Flanagan, Janet Frame, Elizabeth Gaskell, Georgina Hammick, Elizabeth Jolley, Katherine Mansfield and Edna O'Brien are among the prestigious writers who unravel this intricate bond.Stories that reveal remarkable allegiances and private codes are counterpointed by those of sisters pitched against one another in battles for parental affection or sibling supremacy. Here are sisters who lose one another to lovers or to marriage, and one who chooses her sister in favour of a husband...Rivalry, companionship, love and dislike feature in a collection that exposes the innermost secrets of family life. As delightful, surprising - and sometimes disturbing - as the ties they explore, these stories are essential reading.

C M Taylor

C M Taylor grew up in Yorkshire and Suffolk. He studied at Cambridge University, worked in TV in his twenties, and then in India, Belgium and Spain. He now lives in Oxford with his wife and daughter.

Cath Staincliffe

Cath Staincliffe is an award winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV's hit series Blue Murder. Cath's books have been shortlisted for the CWA Best First Novel award. She was joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2012. Letters To My Daughter's Killer was selected for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club on ITV3 in 2014. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey books based on the popular ITV series. She lives with her family in Manchester.

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan's Tales series, Deathless and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.