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The Bus on Thursday

Shirley Barrett
Authors:
Shirley Barrett

Bridget Jones meets Twin Peaks in this black comedy about a woman's retreat to a remote Australian town and the horrors awaiting her.It wasn't just the bad breakup that turned Eleanor Mellett's life upside down. It was the cancer. And all the demons that came with it.One day she felt a bit of a bump when she was scratching her armpit at work. The next thing she knew, her breast was being removed by an inappropriately attractive doctor, and she was subsequently inundated with cupcakes, besieged by judgy support groups, and the ungrateful recipient of hand-knitted sweaters from her mum.Luckily, Eleanor finds that Talbingo, a remote little town, needs a primary-school teacher. Their Miss Barker upped and vanished in the night, despite being the most caring teacher ever, according to everyone. Unfortunately, Talbingo is a bit creepy. It's not only the communion-wine-swigging priest prone to rants about how cancer is caused by demons. Or the unstable, overly sensitive kids, always going on about Miss Barker and her amazing sticker system. It's living alone in a remote cabin, with no phone service or wifi, wondering why there are so many locks on the front door, and who is knocking on it late at night.Riotously funny, deeply unsettling, and surprisingly poignant, Shirley Barrett's The Bus on Thursday is a wicked, weird, wild ride for fans of Maria Semple, Stephen King and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. And when have those three writers ever appeared in the same sentence?

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over eighty books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.

Angela Huth

Angela Huth has written three short story collections and several novels. She also writes plays for radio, television and stage, and is a well-known freelance journalist, critic and broadcaster. She is married to a don, lives in Oxford and has two daughters.

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky lives in Needham, Massachusetts. With thirty million copies of her novels in print, in twenty-five different languages, Delinsky is one of the world's most beloved and revered storytellers.A lifelong New Englander, she uses the area as settings in most of her stories. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys kayaking, aerobics, and needlepoint; in addition to spending time with family and friends. She is also a breast cancer survivor, and strives to be a positive role model for other women facing the disease.

Barbara Ewing

Barbara Ewing is a New Zealand-born actress and author who lives in London. She has a university degree in English and Maori and won the Bancroft Gold Medal at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Please visit the author's website www.barbaraewing.com

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.

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.

D.J. Taylor

D. J. Taylor is a writer and critic. His collection of short stories, After Bathing at Baxter's was published in 1997 and he is the author of six novels: Great Eastern Land (1986); Real Life (1992); English Settlement (1996); Trespass (1998), a satire of 1970s England; The Comedy Man (2001), the story of one half of a comedy duo; and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006). Several of his books are set in his home city of Norwich.His books of non-fiction include Afer the War: The Novel and England Since 1945 (1993); A Vain Conceit: British fiction in the 1980s (1989), a critical look at the quality of fiction-writing in Britain; and most recently, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940. He is also well-known for his biographies: Thackeray (1999); and Orwell: The Life, published in 2003 to coincide with the centenary of Orwell's birth. This book won the 2003 Whitbread Biography Award.

Denise Welch

Denise Welch was born in Whitley Bay in 1958. She is an award-winning actress, TV presenter and author of two Sunday Times bestselling autobiographies. Her many credits include Coronation St, Soldier Soldier, Waterloo Road and Boy Meets Girl, to name a few. She is also an accomplished theatre actress.Denise was a panelist on popular daytime show Loose Women for several years.She is married to artist Lincoln Townley and has two sons, Matthew and Louis, and stepson Lewis. She now lives a quiet, party-free life in rural Cheshire.

Emma Blair

Emma Blair was a pen name for Scottish actor and author Iain Blair, who began writing in his spare time and whose first novel, Where No Man Cries, was published in 1982. During a writing career spanning three decades he produced some thirty novels, but his true identity remained a secret until 1998 when his novel Flower of Scotland was nominated for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award. He was one of Britain's most popular authors and his books among the most borrowed from libraries. Iain Blair died in July 2011.

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.

Fiona Melrose

Fiona Melrose was born in Johannesburg but has spent the majority of her adult life in the UK, first in London and then in East Anglia. She moved to Suffolk to concentrate on her writing and it is there that Midwinter was conceived. Previously Fiona has worked in academia, NGO's, public affairs and as an emerging markets analyst. She continues to keep a foot in both continents and is currently spending the majority of her time back in South Africa where she is completing her second novel.

Gillian Slovo

Gillian Slovo (father Joe Slovo, mother Ruth First) was educated in Britain where she has spent all her adult life. Since Nelson Mandela's release she has made frequent visits to South Africa. She has written seven books.

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal was at the centre of literary and intellectual life for half a century and wrote 'The Narratives of a Golden Age' series as well as countless bestsellers. He died on 31st July 2012.

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip - and one of Britain's most sought-after award ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers. A reporter on The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4's Just a Minute, his many books include The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries and the No 1 best-seller: The 7 Secrets of Happiness.

Hope Ramsay

Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards. She is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she's not writing, she's knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.

J. Courtney Sullivan

J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

James Renner

James Renner is the author of two books of nonfiction that detail his adventures in investigative journalism: Amy: My Search for Her Killer and The Serial Killer's Apprentice. His work has been featured in Best American Crime Reporting and Best Creative Nonfiction. He lives in Ohio.

Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam has been awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature; has twice won a Whitbread Award and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.