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

An Island Christmas

Jenny Colgan
Authors:
Jenny Colgan
Dialogue Books

XX

Angela Chadwick
Authors:
Angela Chadwick
Abacus

English Animals

Laura Kaye
Authors:
Laura Kaye

'A joy to read' Amanda Craig'Shades of Cold Comfort Farm...Charming' GuardianEnglish Animals is a subversive, wry debut that fans of Marina Lewycka's A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian will love. When Mirka gets a job in a country house in rural England, she has no idea of the struggle she faces to make sense of a very English couple, and a way of life that is entirely alien to her. Richard and Sophie are chaotic, drunken, frequently outrageous but also warm, generous and kind to Mirka, despite their argumentative and turbulent marriage.Mirka is swiftly commandeered by Richard for his latest money-making enterprise, taxidermy, and soon surpasses him in skill. After a traumatic break two years ago with her family in Slovakia, Mirka finds to her surprise that she is happy at Fairmont Hall. But when she tells Sophie that she is gay, everything she values is put in danger and she must learn the hard way what she really believes in.

Virago

The Atmospheric Railway

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay is one of the very best short-story writers in the world. The Atmospheric Railway contains not only thirteen brilliant new stories, but a selection of twenty-three more from her previous collections, making it a delight for her existing admirers and the perfect introduction to her work for newcomers.

Virago

Redhill Rococo

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The Artist's Widow

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
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
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

In A Bowl of Cherries Shena Mackay tells the story of twin brothers whose lives are inexorably intertwined: Rex, a self-absorbed and successful writer, and Stanley, a minor poet who works as a dishwasher. Rex lives on the family estate being the older of the twins by one minute with his unhappy wife, Daphne, who writes children's books. Their overweight daughter, Daisy, lives nearby, and as a result of a guilty secret of her own, has married an overbearing, misogynist, and skinflint husband, Julian. Rex's illegitimate son, Seamus, 14, discovers Daisy quite by accident and their relationship blossoms despite the many flawed characters that surround them. He carries a family secret that proves to be devastating, but which ultimately releases his half-sister Daisy from her torments.

Virago

Babies in Rhinestones and Other Stories

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
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.

Piatkus

The Liar

Nora Roberts
Authors:
Nora Roberts

When her husband Richard dies in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But his death reveals a horrible truth - Richard was a liar and a cheat. Now Shelby is left with the consequences - huge, terrifying debts and mounting proof that her late husband betrayed her in every conceivable way. Heart-broken but unbowed, Shelby is determined to fix her problems - if only for the sake of her gorgeous little daughter Callie. Returning home to Tennessee and the family she thought she'd lost for ever, she discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the handsome form of carpenter Griffin Lott - a straight-dealing man who couldn't lie to her if he tried. But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard's shady business, it becomes clear that she is not safe from him, even in death. With her life in danger, Shelby must face the lies of the past - or lose everything.

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.

Julian Rathbone

Julian Rathbone is the author of many books, including the hugely acclaimed THE LAST ENGLISH KING, KINGS OF ALBION and the Booker shortlisted JOSEPH.

Linda Howard

Linda Howard is an award-winning NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author. She lives in Alabama with her husband and one golden retriever.

Robert Winder

Robert Winder was literary editor of the INDEPENDENT for 5 years. He has written two novels.