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

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  • Hardback £16.99
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    • ISBN:9780349006758
    • Publication date:03 Nov 2016
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    • ISBN:9780349006765
    • Publication date:03 Nov 2016

The Dark Circle

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.

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
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Living In The Maniototo

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All I had experienced, all the stories I had read or dreamed came to me the moment I, a stranger, turned the key in the lock of the unknown house.'In a sweltering basement in downtown Baltimore, Mavis Halleton, writer, ventriloquist and gossip, is struggling to write her novel when an unexpected invitation arrives. The Garretts, a couple Mavis has never heard of but who admire her work, are to spend time in Italy, and offer the use of their airy home in the Berkeley hills.During her stay, an earthquake hits northern Italy, and Mavis, to her surprise, inherits the house. But, surrounded by museum replicas and tasteful imitations, she finds reality itself is on shaky ground.In this highly inventive novel, reality, fiction and dreams are woven together as Janet Frame playfully explores the process of writing fiction.

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Upstairs at the Party

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'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.

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Harriet Said...

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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.

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We Had It So Good

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

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The Thoughtful Dresser

Linda Grant
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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

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The Clothes On Their Backs

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In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Then one morning a glamorous uncle appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in a leopard-skin hat on his arm. Why is Uncle Sándor so violently unwelcome in her parents' home?This is a novel about survival - both banal and heroic - and a young woman who discovers the complications, even betrayals, that inevitably accompany the fierce desire to live. Set against the backdrop of a London from the 1950s to the present day, The Clothes on Their Backs is a wise and tender novel about the clothes we choose to wear, the personalities we dress ourselves in, and about how they define us all.

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the author of nine other critically acclaimed and bestselling novels, all published in Abacus paperback.

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.

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.

Carol Goodman

Carol Goodman's work has appeared in such journals as Literal Latte and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar Colege, she taught Latin in Austin, Texas. She then received an M.F.A. in fiction. Goodman currently teaches writing and works as a writer-in-residence. Visit her at www.carolgoodman.com

Chris Bunch

Chris Bunch is a Vietnam veteran and served as a patrol commander and combat correspondent for Stars and Stripes. He has written for the underground press, outlaw motorcycle magazines and Rolling Stone.

Christina Jones

The only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, Christina Jones has been writing all her life. As well as writing novels, Christina contributes short stories and articles to national magazines and newspapers. Christina lives with her husband Rob and a houseful of rescued cats. Visit her at www.christinajones.co.uk

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley, "the quintessential political novelist of his time" according to Fortune magazine, is the winner of the distinguished ninth annual Thurber Prize for American Humor. Tom Wolfe has described him as "one of the funniest writers in the English language." Buckley is the author of twelve books, many of them national bestsellers, including Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, No Way To Treat A First Lady, Florence of Arabia, and the memoir Losing Mum and Pup.

E. V. Thompson

E V Thompson was born in London and spent nine years in the Navy before joining Bristol police. He moved to Hong Kong, then Rhodesia and had over 200 stories published before returning to England to become a full-time award-winning writer. He passed away in 2012.

Elaine Dundy

Elaine Dundy was born in New York. As an actress she worked in Paris and London and then became a writer. She has written plays, biographies and novels including the bestselling THE DUD AVOCADO, her first novel.

Emma Donoghue

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer, living in Canada with her family. Her novels are Room, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Slammerkin, Hood and Stir-fry; short-story collections Astray, Three and a Half Deaths (UK ebook), Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch; and literary history including Inseparable, We Are Michael Field, and Passions Between Women as well as two anthologies that span the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Frog Music, her new novel, comes out in Spring 2014.