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Mothering Sunday

***LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE***
From the Booker-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland comes a long-awaited new novel. ‘Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly… Swift’s small fiction feels like a masterpiece’ The Guardian
 
It is March 30th 1924. It is Mothering Sunday.

How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold?

Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best.

Praise for Mothering Sunday:

Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives – the parallel stories – we can never know … It may just be Swift’s best novel yet’ The Observer

'Dazzling . . . a vanished world is resurrected with superb immediacy . . . wonderfully accomplishedSunday Times

'Stunning . . . It is about the most perfect novel you could wish to read' The Guardian

'From start to finish Swift's is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve . . . Swift is a writer at the very top of his game' Evening Standard

'Exquisite . . . Mothering Sunday shows love, lust and ordinary decency straining against the bars of an unjust English caste system' Kazuo Ishiguro

Mastery and resonance . . . It’s one of the novel’s great strengths to be able to shift with such agility between focus scene and lifetime recollection . . . the languid, blissful minutes of March 30, 1924 seem to contain all the succeeding decades’ Times Literary Supplement 

'A dazzling read: sexy, stylish, subversive' Herald Scotland

'A jewel of a book, a subtle, erotically charged novella suspended between past and future' Hermione Lee

'A work of gold from the subtle pen of the great Graham Swift' Le Monde

'With this novel he captures what it means to be aliveDer Spiegel

‘An exquisite novella of love and loss . . . a short yet powerful and intricately layered work . . . every sentence counting and not a word out of placeThe Australian

© Janus van den Eijnden

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of eleven novels, two collections of short stories, including the highly acclaimed England and Other Stories, and of Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. His most recent novel, Mothering Sunday, became an international bestseller and won The Hawthornden Prize for best work of imaginative literature. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and with Last Orders the Booker Prize. Both novels were made into films. His work has appeared in over thirty languages.

  • Publisher: Scribner UK (February 25, 2016)
  • Length: 144 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471155239

‘Alive with sensuousness and sensuality…wonderfully accomplished, it is an achievement’

– Sunday Times

‘From start to finish Swift’s is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve. The archly modulated, precise prose (a hybrid of Henry Green and Kazuo Ishiguro) is a glory to read. Now 66, Swift is a writer at the very top of his game’

– Evening Standard

Mothering Sunday is, like everything Swift writes, quite unlike anything Swift has written before, and subtly teasing’

– The Times

‘Swift’s novella is a telling snapshot of a society struggling with the death toll of World War I, and cleverly pinpoints the fractures in the class system’

– Mail on Sunday

Mothering Sunday is…a Conradian homage to a well-spring of inspiration…you can heard his master’s voice echoing through the pages of this deceptively fine novel’

– Independent

‘With a clear focus on the possibilities of the short form, Graham Swift achieves a delicate harmony between the cool detachment of the narrative voice and the intensity of emotion conveyed on every page. This is a rare read indeed’

– Spectator

‘Love and death and much in between are expertly handled in this short but powerful novella’

– Daily Mail

Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives – the parallel stories – we can never know: “All the scenes. All the scenes that never occur, but wait in the wings of possibility.” It may just be Swift’s best novel yet’

– Observer

Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly… Swift’s small fiction feels like a masterpiece’

– Guardian

‘Swift has written a book that is not just his most moving and intricate but his most engrossing too’

– Financial Times Weekend

More books from this author: Graham Swift