Did you know there is an abundance of new writing talent in and around South London? Over the centuries South London has prided itself on the many writers who have lived in the area: William Blake, Robert Browning and Christopher Marlowe all called south of the river their home. Right now, though, things are pretty vibrant, and Dulwich Books wants to introduce you to some of this new talent and their books.
Lloyd Shepherd, based in Herne Hill, is a former journalist and digital producer who has written The English Monsters. A historical novel set in the 19th and 16th Centuries, it hardly feels historical due to a combination of innovative structure, the pacing of the investigative elements of the story and the contemporary resonance of Wapping itself. More details about Lloyd can be found here: http://www.lloydshepherd.com/
Simon & Schuster/hardback/£12.99/9780857205353
Patrick Flanery’s astonishing debut novel, Absolution, is set in South Africa and tells the story of Clare Wald, an aging author, as she talks with Sam Leroux, her biographer. The novel has four, often contradictory narrative strands: Young Sam, Sam the author, Clare and Laura – Clare’s daughter. At the heart of the novel is Clare Wald’s internal attempts to make sense of her daughter’s disappearance. Absolution has been receiving great reviews in the media and I loved this book. Anyone with a liking for fluent literary fiction will find this the perfect read. You can find out more about Patrick, a resident of Dulwich, by clicking here: http://www.patrickflanery.com/. We have signed copies in the bookshop.
Terry Ronald, based in East Dulwich has produced Becoming Nancy, a vibrant, warm novel that is full of life. This uproarious and touching coming-of-age novel is set against the backdrop of South-East London and the thrill of the late seventies. It will transport you straight back to your first music obsession and the highs and lows of your first love. Kylie Minogue says she laughed out loud when reading this book…Put on that Abba song you love, and take yourself back to the 1970s.
John O’Connell’s novel The Baskerville Legacy is based on real events and is a creeper in its own right: a thrilling, frequently terrifying exploration of friendship and rivalry, love and lust, ambition and the limits of talent. The perfect novel for Sherlock Holmes fans from this Herne Hill author.
Another local, Benjamin Wood, has written a masterpiece of psychological suspense and emotional resonance sure to appeal to fans of Donna Tart and Ian McEwan. His book The Bellwether Revivals will hold you spellbound until its breathtaking conclusion.
Simon & Schuster/hardback/£12.99/9780857206954
Camberwell’s Clare Jacob, taking a sabbatical from her job as a barrister, has penned Ophelia in Pieces. Set in chambers featuring Ophelia, whose home and then work life implodes when her husband of 20 years ups and leaves. Before long she’s broke, drinking too much and falling for a client of questionable innocence. And then she is faced with the most serious trial of her life, when a disgruntled defendant comes back to haunt her, threatening everything that she holds dear. An engaging and entertaining read.
Sheila O’ Reilly