Linda Grant - The Dark Circle - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349006789
    • Publication date:06 Apr 2017

The Dark Circle

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017

By Linda Grant

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The new novel by the acclaimed author of Upstairs at the Party and the Booker-shortlisted The Clothes on Their Backs.

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

The Second World War is over, a new decade is beginning but for an East End teenage brother and sister living on the edge of the law, life has been suspended. Sent away to a tuberculosis sanatorium in Kent to learn the way of the patient, they find themselves in the company of army and air force officers, a car salesman, a young university graduate, a mysterious German woman, a member of the aristocracy and an American merchant seaman. They discover that a cure is tantalisingly just out of reach and only by inciting wholesale rebellion can freedom be snatched.

Biographical Notes

Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006, and was longlisted for the Man Booker in 2002 for Still Here. The Clothes on Their Backs was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2008 and went on to win the South Bank Show Award.

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  • ISBN: 9780349006772
  • Publication date: 03 Nov 2016
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Virago
Exhilaratingly good . . . This is a novel whose engine is flesh and blood, not cold ideas . . . Grant brings the 1950s - that odd, downbeat, fertile decade between war and sexual liberation - into sharp, bright, heartbreaking focus — Christobel Kent, Guardian
A Grant novel is always a treat . . . Grant captures the stigma that surrounded TB perfectly — Evening Standard
A writer whose language crackles with vitality and whose descriptive powers are working at such a high level — Spectator
Linda Grant brings a forgotten slice of social and medical history to life by conjuring a rich cast of disparate - though equally desperate - characters observed with wry humour and affection to produce an absorbing and profoundly moving story — John Harding, Daily Mail
The novel is funny but also poignant . . . I loved it — Stylist
The Dark Circle is, beneath its narrative surface, fiercely political. She poses a large, naggingly relevant, question. What would (will?) privatisation of the NHS mean? Read this fine, persuasive, moving novel and contemplate - if you can dare to - that awful possibility — John Sutherland, The Times
Fascinating . . . a revealing insight: both funny and illuminating, it is a novel about what it means to treat people well, medically, emotionally and politically — Hannah Beckerman, Observer
Grant is so good at conjuring up atmosphere and writes with earthy vivacity — Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday
Contemporary issues linger ominously in Grant's margins, silently enriching what's already an astonishingly good period piece — Lucy Scholes, Independent
Her cast of characters is nothing less than a portrayal of post-war, class-riven Britain from the indolent aristocracy, to Oxford-educated blue stockings, and from car salesmen to the bottom of the pile, German emigres and East End Jewish lowlifes . . .This is a novel, above all, about trauma caused by the "dark circle" of tuberculosis, and results in a "tight circle" of comradeship. The ambitious reach of the novel is wisely held in check by its focus on a time when Lenny and Miriam had to discover for themselves what it was to be human — Jewish Chronicle
A rich, engaging novel, further proof that Grant can conjure up a special mood in a specific period with great humour — Ben Lawrence, Sunday Telegraph
Extraordinarily affecting — Alex Preston, Observer
An extraordinary depiction of the physical and emotional experience of illness. She marvellously communicates the poignancy of youth and sexuality in the presence of impending death. Grant's voice is unlike any other writer; so immediate and engaged even when writing historical fiction — Natasha Walter
An amazing subject, wonderfully depicted, with plausible people whom I grew to love . . . the most surprising plot developments. So original and full of life — Joan Bakewell
Virago

The Cast Iron Shore

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant

This is a capacious and wide-ranging book, not just about individuals but about the history they move through. Whether the scene is Liverpool in the Blitz, a potato-chip factory in the prairies or a seedy hotel room in Hanoi, the writing is immediate . . . Grant approaches each character with insight and a tart sympathy' Hilary Mantel, Literary ReviewSybil Ross has been brought up by her Jewish furrier father and style-obsessed mother as an empty-headed fashion plate. But on the worst night of Liverpool's blitz she uncovers a secret that leaves her disorientated. When the war is over, Sybil embarks on a voyage that leads her to the very edge of America, and to a final choice. THE CAST IRON SHORE is a beautuful evocation of one woman's journey from the 1930s to the 1990s, combining the personal and political in an outstanding first novel.

Virago

Upstairs at the Party

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant

'If you go back and look at your life there are certain scenes, acts, or maybe just incidents on which everything that follows seems to depend. If only you could narrate them, then you might be understood. I mean the part of yourself that you don't know how to explain.' In the early seventies, a glamorous and androgynous couple known as Evie/Stevie appear out of nowhere on the isolated concrete campus of a new university. To a group of teenagers experimenting with radical ideas, they seem blown back from the future, unsettling everything and uncovering covert desires. But their mesmerising flamboyant self-expression hides deep anxieties and hidden histories. For Adele, who also has something to conceal, Evie becomes an obsession - an obsession which becomes lifelong after the night of Adele's twentieth birthday party. What happened that evening and who was complicit are questions that have haunted Adele ever since. A set of school exercise books might reveal everything, but they have been missing for the past forty years. From summers in 1970s Cornwall to London in the twenty-first century, long after she has disappeared, Evie will go on challenging everyone's ideas of how their lives should turn out. With her hallmark humour, intelligence and boldness Linda Grant has written a powerful and captivating novel about secrets and the moments that shape our lives.

Virago

A Weekend With Claude

Beryl Bainbridge
Authors:
Beryl Bainbridge

An old snapshot shows a group of friends lounging in the sunshine, on a weekend in the country at the invitation of bearded, satyric Claude and his wife Julia. The girl in the centre is dreamy Lily, whose latest failed love affair forms the purpose of the weekend, as Lily's friends set out to help her ensnare an unwitting father for her unborn child. Next to her is Norman, a Marxist romantic hell-bent on seducing his milk-white hostess; behind them is old, persecuted Shebah; and, slightly apart, the young man on whom all hopes are pinned: quiet, pleasant Edward.Told through the fractured narratives of Claude, Lily, Shebah and Norman, in Beryl Bainbridge's first published novel a darkly comic weekend of friendship and failure unravels.

Virago

Harriet Said...

Beryl Bainbridge
Authors:
Beryl Bainbridge

A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters 'the Tsar' - almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive.Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives - and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge's classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.

Virago

We Had It So Good

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant
Virago

Living In The Maniototo

Janet Frame
Authors:
Janet Frame
Virago

Still Here

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant
Virago

The People On The Street: A Writer's View Of Israel

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant
Virago

The Thoughtful Dresser

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant

A good handbag makes the outfit. Only the rich can afford cheap shoes. The only thing worse than being skint is looking as if you're skint.'For centuries, an interest in clothes has been dismissed as the trivial pursuit of vain empty-headed women. Yet, clothes matter, whether you are interested in fashion or not because what we choose to dress ourselves in defines our identity. For the immigrant arriving in a new country to the teenager who needs to be part of the fashion pack or the woman turning forty who must reassess her wardrobe, the truth is that how we look and what we wear, tells a story. And what a story. THE THOUGHTFUL DRESSER tells us how a woman's hat saved her life in Nazi Germany, looks at the role of department stores in giving women a public place outside the home, savours the sheer joy of finding the right dress. Here is the thinking woman's guide to our relationship with what we wear: why we want to look our best and why it matters. THE THOUGHTFUL DRESSER celebrates the pleasure of adornment

Virago

The Clothes On Their Backs

Linda Grant
Authors:
Linda Grant

Ali Smith

Ali Smith was born in Inverness and lives in Cambridge. She is the author of three collections of stories and three novels. Hotel World was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize in 2001 and her latest novel, The Accidental, won the 2006 Whitbread Novel Award. Ali reviews regularly for the Guardian, the Scotsman and the TLS.

Amanda Jennings

AMANDA JENNINGS read History of Art at Cambridge University. She has worked at the BBC as a researcher and assistant producer. Married with three daughters, she lives in Henley. She is currently writing her next novel.

Angela Thirkell

Angela Thirkell (1890-1961) was the eldest daughter of John William Mackail, a Scottish classical scholar and civil servant, and Margaret Burne-Jones. Her relatives included the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin, and her grandfather was J. M. Barrie. She was educated in London and Paris, and began publishing articles and stories in the 1920s. In 1931 she brought out her first book, a memoir entitled Three Houses, and in 1933 her comic novel High Rising - set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, borrowed from Trollope - met with great success. She went on to write nearly thirty Barsetshire novels, as well as several further works of fiction and non-fiction. She was twice married and had four children.

Anthea Cohen

Anthea Cohen, SRN, worked as a hospital sister and private nurse. A columnist for the Nursing Mirror and regular contributor to World Medicine, she has written eighteen Agnes Turner novels, among other work.Her Agnes Carmichael novels have been described as the 'one of the most original chiller series around'. (Felicia Lamb, Mail on Sunday)

Barbara Comyns

Barbara Comyns (1909-92) was born in Bidford-on-Avon in Warwickshire. She was an artist and writer, worked in advertising, dealt in old cars and antiques, bred poodles and developed property. She was twice married, and she and her second husband lived in Spain for eighteen years, returning to the UK in the early 1970s. She is the author of eleven books, including Sisters by a River (1947), Our Spoons Came from Woolworths (1950), The Vet's Daughter (1959), The Skin Chairs (1962) and A Touch of Mistletoe (1967). She died in Shropshire in 1992.

Beatrice Meier

Beatrice Meier was born in Germany and studied literary translation at Düsseldorf University. She then went on to complete a scriptwriting programme at Munich Film School in 2002-03, and attended the Cologne International Film School in 2006. She won the Best Screenplay Award at the German Film Festival in Ludwigshafen in 2013 for the feature film Offside Trap, which was screened at festivals, the European Parliament and at trade union events. The Vintage Springtime Club is her first novel. A German television adaptation was broadcast in spring 2015. Beatrice Meier lives and works in Strasbourg.

Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell is the creator of SEX AND THE CITY and has been described by the EVENING STANDARD as a 'genius'. The OBSERVER compared her to Nancy Mitford and the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH to 'Jane Austen with a Martini.'

Christopher Brookmyre

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING, which established him as one of Britain's leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than one million copies in the UK alone.

Danielle Pearl

Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who---luckily---doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.To learn more, visit:DaniellePearl.comFacebook.com/daniellepearlauthorTwitter.com @danipearlauthor

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.