Phil Harrison - The First Day - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780708898536
    • Publication date:15 Jun 2017

The First Day

By Phil Harrison

  • Hardback
  • £12.99

An intense, questioning novel about marriage, love, family and religion.

Outside an east Belfast mission hall, pastor and family man Samuel Orr meets Anna, a young Beckett scholar. They embark on an intense love affair, their connection fuelled by their respective passions. When Anna falls pregnant, the affair is revealed. The repercussions are slow to emerge but inescapable, and the fallout is shocking, cruel and violent.

More than thirty years later Sam, their son, is in New York, living a steady, guarded life, his childhood and family safely abandoned.

But the sins of the fathers are not to be so easily buried; the past crashes inevitably into the present, and Sam is forced to confront the fears he has kept close for decades.

Biographical Notes

Phil Harrison's first feature film, The Good Man, was released in 2014. His earlier short, Even Gods, won the short film award at the Belfast, Galway and Cork Film Festivals in 2011, and was shortlisted for the best short script at the 2012 Irish Screenwriting Awards. He lives in Belfast. The First Day is his debut novel.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780708898550
  • Publication date: 15 Jun 2017
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Fleet
Terrific, it is expanding and expanding all the time, like its own model universe - I just think it is pretty marvellous — Sebastian Barry
Set in a defamiliarised Belfast, The First Day is an auspicious debut - crisp, spare, lean and compelling — Patrick McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy

The First Day is an age-old story of forbidden love, given fresh resonance against the backdrop of the fractured, changing but still deeply conservative society that is contemporary Northern Ireland.

Phil Harrison writes with compassion and tenderness, never veering into sentimentality, about his young Beckett scholar and the married pastor she falls in love with. He has a screenwriter's ear for the way people talk, the cadences and omissions of their speech, and in particular the speech of religious Ulster, still rooted so deeply in the language and rhythms of the King James Bible. He illuminates a people - a place - seeking to escape from itself, seeking transfiguration, but desperately bound to what has gone before

— Lucy Caldwell
In true Belfast style, Phil Harrison has planted a flag. The First Day is not just a novel, it's a declaration, full worthy of salute — Glenn Patterson
Written with a burning intensity, this is a powerful novel about marriage, passion, anger and guilt — Daily Mail
Hugely impressive. A finely written tale which is original, compulsive, and at times chilling — Irish Examiner
A wonderful debut. A fully engaging, well-written, very imaginative novel — Irish Times
This is a truly excellent novel, on all counts . . . an unflinching yet compassionate investigation of matters of the human heart . . . [a] fine work of artistic invention — Irish Independent
Harrison writes well and brings Belfast and the sectarian conflict vividly to life — Catholic Herald
Gripping . . . This is a truly excellent novel, on all counts. The First Day is as well-written as any Irish novel I've read, with tight, dispassionate and superbly controlled prose — Belfast Telegraph
Deeply disturbing, morally challenging . . . remarkable — Publishers Weekly

The First Day is a stark and spare story of a family divided . . . a stark and
spare story of a family divided.

— Sunday Business Post
Written with a burning intensity, this is a powerful novel about marriage, passion, anger and guilt. — Fanny Blake, Daily Mail
Hugely impressive. A finely written tale which is original, compulsive, and at times chilling — Sue Leonard, Irish Examiner

Abbi Waxman

Born in England, Abbi Waxman has worked as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York, including Ogilvy and Mather, Y&R, Grey, and Wunderman. After successfully ghost-writing Nicole Ritchie's novel, Abbi quit advertising, and turned to writing of her own. Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats and seven chickens.

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman - who worked for many years as a theoretical physicist - is the author of six novels, including the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams, as well as The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the author of a memoir, three collections of essays, and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. He has taught at Harvard and at MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He lives in the Boston area.

Alex Kava

Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed series featuring former Marine Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs, and the international bestselling Maggie O'Dell series. Her novel Stranded was awarded both a Florida Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award. Her standalone novel One False Move was chosen for the 2006 One Book One Nebraska and in 2007 she received the Mari Sandoz Award. Her political thriller Whitewash was also named one of January Magazine's best thrillers of the year.Published in thirty-two countries with over six million copies sold, Kava's novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava and her pack of Westies divide their time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.

Ali McNamara

Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing - being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating's website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. Ali lives in Cambridgeshire with her family and two Labradors. When she isn't writing, she likes to travel, read, and people-watch, more often than not accompanied by a good cup of coffee. Her dogs and a love of exercise keep her sane!To find out more about Ali visit her website: www.alimcnamara.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @AliMcNamara

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.

Anja de Jager

Anja de Jager is a London-based native Dutch speaker who writes in English. She draws inspiration from cases that her father, a retired police detective, worked on in the Netherlands. Anja worked in the City for twenty years but is now a full-time writer. She is currently working on the next Lotte Meerman novel.

Carl Weber

Carl Weber is the New York Times bestselling author of over two-dozen novels. A lifelong reader, Weber likes to write about ordinary people who have crazy things happening in their lives. When he's not connecting with readers, he's finding new talent for his publishing company, Urban Books. Weber graduated from Virginia State University with a bachelor's degree in accounting and has an MBA in marketing from the University of Virginia.

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.

Diane Janes

DIANE JANES grew up in Birmingham and has lived in the north of England for the last twenty years. Between marrying and raising two children she worked in seemingly every field, from mortgages to engineering, until she gave up the day job to write full time. This resulted in two shortlistings for the CWA Debut Dagger and subsequent publication. The Pull of the Moon was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.

Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz, who earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Over the course of her fifty-year career she wrote more than seventy mystery and suspense novels, and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She was the recipient of numerous writing awards, including grandmaster and lifetime achievement awards from the Mystery Writers of America, Malice Domestic, and Bouchercon. In 2012 she was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor, at the Malice Domestic convention. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.

Emma Fraser

Emma Fraser emigrated to Africa with her Gaelic-speaking parents when she was nine years old and remembers lying in bed and listening to her father playing the bagpipes. She returned to the Western Isles of Scotland years later and went on to qualify as a nurse and worked in Edinburgh and Glasgow before going on to study English Literature at Aberdeen University. Emma began writing when her daughters started school and she has published three historical novels, two of which were shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her third book, The Shipbuilder's Daughter, was inspired by, as always, true events - this time by the Glasgow shipyards where her grandfather once worked. Greyfriars House is her fourth novel.Keep up to date with Emma by following her on Twitter (@EmmaFraserBooks) or becoming her friend on Facebook (www.facebook.com/emmafraserauthor).

Farahad Zama

Farahad Zama moved to London in 1990 from Vizag in India, where the novel is set. He is a father of two, and he works for an investment bank.

John Fairfax

John Fairfax is the pen name of William Brodrick, who practised as a barrister before becoming a full-time novelist. Under his own name he is a previous winner of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award.

Jon E. Lewis

Jon E. Lewis is a historian and writer, whose books on history and military historyare sold worldwide. He is also editor of many The Mammoth Book of anthologies, including the bestselling On the Edge and Endurance and Adventure.He holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in history. His work has appeared in New Statesman, the Independent, Time Out and the Guardian. He lives in Herefordshire with his partner and children.Praise for his previous books:England: The Autobiography:'A triumph' Saul David, author of Victoria's ArmyThe British Soldier: The Autobiography:'this thoughtful compilation . . . almost unbearably moving.' Guardian'Compelling tommy's eye view of war.' Daily Telegraph'What a book. Five stars.' Daily Express

Justin Myers

Justin Myers is a writer and editor from Shipley, Yorkshire, who now lives in London. After years working in journalism, he began his popular, anonymous dating blog The Guyliner in 2010, which soon led to his role as dating and advice columnist in Gay Times. He joined British GQ as a weekly columnist in 2016 and his work has appeared in a number of publications including the Guardian, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and the Irish Times.

Katrina Onstad

KATRINA ONSTAD is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, Globe, Mail and Elle. Her novels include How Happy to Be and the national bestseller Everybody Has Everything, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children, and she swears that next weekend she is not going to work at all.

Linda Fairstein

Linda Fairstein is a former prosecutor and one of America's foremost legal experts on crimes of violence against women and children. For three decades she served in the office of the New York County District Attorney, where she was Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers association. Her Alexandra Cooper novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have debuted on the Sunday Times and the New York Times bestseller lists, among others. She lives in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard.

Martina Reilly

Martina Reilly was a columnist with Ireland's Evening Herald, but gave it up to write full time. She has had three successful novels published by Poolbeg in Ireland.

Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski is a British writer and editor who has been called the king of the erotic thriller and has edited five Mammoth volumes of erotica. He lives in northwest London.

Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world.She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.