Skip to Main Content


Published by Orenda Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

SHORTLISTED for The Polari First Book Prize

LONGLISTED for the Guardian‘s Not the Booker Prize

A beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel with echoes of Armistead Maupin…

‘From its opening gambit to its final line, Attend demands and rewards attention’ Foreword Reviews

’With its blend of dark, gritty themes and gorgeous imagery, this is a book to make you believe there’s still magic in the world’ Heat Magazine

‘I’ve fallen in love with this absolutely glorious, spell-binding tale’ LoveReading

As the threads of their lives unravel … they find magic under their feet…

When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.

Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.

With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

‘It’s a genuinely pleasurable experience to encounter something couched in such alert and transparent language as West Camel’s Attend … In three hundred finely judged pages, West Camel leaves the reader eager for more from his pen’ Barry Forshaw, CrimeTime

‘Lyrical and intense, the spellbinding prose is full of carefully chosen words which create an emotive and flowing’ Crime Review

‘Rich, lively and intelligent, Attend is a novel of mystery, morality and meaning, but so delicately sewn together, you never notice the seams…’ Rosie Goldsmith

'There is such a joy to the language. West Camel is a truly gifted wordsmith, and a beautiful storyteller’ Louise Beech

‘Skilfully weaves a tapestry of multi-layered threads … delicate, evocative prose tells an intriguing story with contemporary relevance, insight and compassion’ Live & Deadly

‘A book of past and present, grief and tragedy, forgiveness and redemption, and hopes and dreams … a great debut novel’ Off-the-Shelf Books

‘A singular and distinctive read … Within the city grime and gritty plotlines, glitters an arresting tale’ Books, Life and Everything


Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres, and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend, his first novel was shortlisted for the Polari prize.

  • Publisher: Orenda Books (December 13, 2018)
  • Length: 287 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781912374397