William Wall - This is the Country - Hodder & Stoughton

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This is the Country

By William Wall

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A startling light is cast into Ireland's darker corners in the new Booker-longlisted novel by the author of THE MAP OF TENDERNESS

In an Ireland far removed from the familiar images of travel brochures, a bright teenager is heading for trouble: son of a single mother who has given up, rarely at school, taking drugs, and hovering on the fringes of the city's criminal underworld.

When he falls for Pat The Baker's sister his life changes irrevocably, not least because when she gets pregnant, Pat breaks his legs. But as he tries to make a new start and adjust to being a lover and father, he realises he cannot evade vengeance forever.

THIS IS THE COUNTRY is a hard-hitting, tense and deeply moving novel that sets power and corruption against the fragile defences of love, friendship and family. As gritty as it is tender, as funny as it is dark, it tells a riveting tale of survival against the odds.

Biographical Notes

William Wall's three previous novels, ALICE FALLING, MINDING CHILDREN and THE MAP OF TENDERNESS, have all been published by Sceptre to critical acclaim. He is also an award winning poet and short story writer, and the author of several works of fiction for children. He is married with two children and lives in County Cork, Ireland.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780340822166
  • Publication date: 27 Feb 2006
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Sceptre
A genuine literary talent, with a poet's gift for apposite, wry observation, dialogue and character . . . a masterful, ironic book of loss and bitter optimism, money and poverty, the impossible divide between city and country — Guardian
[An] elegiac tale of loss and dispossession . . . Wall is too astringent a storyteller to fob his readers off with a feel-good ending. But he is also sufficiently poetic in his use of language to infuse the struggles of his hero with deep human feeling. — Sunday Telegraph
A raw and uncompromising but tender portrait of Ireland in the here and now . . . In THIS IS THE COUNTRY he has redefined a female icon, one you might have thought you knew - Mother Ireland. She is not pretty but she is utterly authentic. — Irish Independent
'A compelling picture of a land of lost souls.' — Times Literary Supplement
A terrific novel . . . THIS IS THE COUNTRY stands out because it stares directly at the dark side of contemporary Ireland without looking away, or even blinking. In the parlance of the Irish, it's a mint piece of work. It deserves a place on the shelf alongside William Trevor and Edna O'Brien. — David Means

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams worked as a senior producer for the BBC's flagship Panorama and Newsnight programmes, and as a writer and director of history documentaries. He is the author of two bestselling non-fiction books, The Battle of the Atlantic and D-day to Berlin, and four acclaimed novels, The Interrogator, (shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger Award and the Ellis Peters Award), To Kill a Tsar, (shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Award and the Walter Scott Prize), The Poison Tide and The Suicide Club. You can find out more about Andrew Williams and his writing at www.andrewwilliams.tv and www.hodder.co.uk, and you can follow him on twitter at @AWilliamswriter or on Facebook.

Camilla Morton

Camilla Morton was attending fashion shows long before she was invited. She studied at St Martin's and worked on Vogue. She moved to Paris to polish her look, rather than her French, and worked for John Galliano at Dior. She has written for the Times, Telegraph magazine, Harpers Bazaar and Time, among others. Her first book, HOW TO WALK IN HIGH HEELS, has been translated into seventeen languages.

Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave's debut novel INCENDIARY won the Somerset Maugham Award, among others. His second, the Costa-shortlisted THE OTHER HAND, was a global bestseller and sat in the New York Times Top Ten for over a year (under the US title, Little Bee). Both books were shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prizes. He lives in Kingston-upon-Thames with his wife and three children, and welcomes readers at facebook.com/ChrisCleaveBooks, www.chriscleave.com and twitter.com/chriscleave.

Ciara Geraghty

Ciara Geraghty is the author of five novels: Now That I've Found You, Saving Grace, Becoming Scarlett, Finding Mr Flood and Lifesaving for Beginners. She lives in Dublin with her husband, three children and dog.You can find out more at www.ciarageraghty.com, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/CiaraGeraghtyBooks, or follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/ciarageraghty.

Danielle McLaughlin

Danielle McLaughlin's stories have appeared in publications including the New Yorker, the Stinging Fly and the Irish Times, as well as various anthologies. She has won the Willesden Short Story Prize, the Merriman Short Story Competition in memory of Maeve Binchy and the Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. Dinosaurs on Other Planets is her first collection.

Dreda Say Mitchell

Born and bred in the East End of London, Dreda Say Mitchell has seen it all from the inside. After a string of jobs as a waitress, chambermaid and catering assistant she realised her dream of becoming a teacher. During this time she saw a new generation of East Enders grappling with the same problems she had but in an even more violent and unforgiving world. Dreda's books are inspired by the gritty, tough and criminal world she grew up in. She still lives in London's East End. Her debut, RUNNING HOT, was published in 2004 and won the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first novel. She is the author of eight more novels and is currently writing the FLESH AND BLOOD series, set on 'The Devil's Estate' in Mile End. In 2016, she became a Reading Ambassador for the Reading Agency to promote literacy and libraries.Website: www.dredasaymitchell.com Facebook: /dredasaymitchell Twitter: @DredaMitchell

Fiona Walker

Fiona Walker, whose novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers, leads the field as the voice of young, media-aware women. She lives in Somerset with her partner and two children plus an assortment of horses and dogs.

Gemma Malley

Gemma Malley is an award-winning author. She lives in London with her husband and three young children. You can visit her online at www.gemmamalley.com.

Harry Turtledove

Harry Turtledove has lived in Southern California all his life He has a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Los Angeles and has taught at UCLA, California State Fullerton and California State University, Los Angeles. He has written many works of speculative fiction and fantasy. He is married to the novelist Laura Frankos and they have three daughters.

Herman Wouk

Herman Wouk is the author of The Caine Mutiny, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Winds of War, War and Remembrance, and Inside, Outside. His latest novel is The Lawgiver, a romantic comedy about the seeming impossibility of making a movie about the life of Moses. Born in the Bronx in 1915, he has lived in Manhattan, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC. He now resides in Palm Springs, California.

Hilary Green

Hilary Green is a trained actress and spent many years teaching drama. Among her star pupils was the latest James Bond, Daniel Craig. She also ran a Youth Theatre Company, one of the members of which was the now acclaimed theatre director, Christopher Luscombe. She has always written, producing novels, scripts for the BBC, and short stories, one of which one the Kythira Prize awarded by the Historical Novel Society. She even wrote the book and lyrics for a school musical, which she also produced. She loves all forms of theatre, including opera and ballet. This is probably 'bred in the bone' as both her parents were in what theatre people always refer to as 'The Profession'. Her father was a singer, trained for opera in Italy, while her mother was a ballet dancer. Their pre-war experiences in variety were the inspiration for the 'Follies' series of novels. Hilary regularly gives talks about her work to book groups and other organisations where she enjoys meeting her readers and hearing their reactions to the stories. When not writing she gardens, rides horses, walks in the countryside and plays bridge as well as enjoying travel and has been round the world several times. Hilary is married, with two grown-up sons and two grandchildren.

James Treadwell

James Treadwell was born, brought up and educated within a mile of the Thames, and has spent much of his life further reducing the distance between him and the river. He studied and taught for more than a decade near the crossing at Folly Bridge, Oxford, and now lives within sight of the Tideway in West London.

Jess Richards

Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972, and grew up too fast in south west Scotland where she lived with her English parents and three brothers, watching the ferry boats going to and from Northern Ireland. She left home at 17, went over the border to England, and lived for a year in Carlisle, before moving to Devon. She gained a first class degree from Dartington College of Arts when she was 21. After brief stints busking and carrying on in both Leeds and London, she moved to Brighton aged 23 where she has grown up a bit slower, and has lived and worked ever since. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize.jessrichards.co.uk/www.twitter.com/jessgrr1

Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen was born in London and grew up with music and writing as twin passions. She has written for publications including The Independent and BBC Music Magazine and as a music journalist has interviewed most of today's greatest musicians. Her books include biographies of the composers Gabriel Fauré and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. As a pianist she plays in a duo with her violinist husband. They live in south-west London.

John Hart

John Hart was born in 1965 and lives with his wife and two young children in North Carolina and Virginia. He has degrees in French, accounting and law, and worked as a banker, stockbroker and attorney before beginning his writing career.

Julia Stagg

Julia Stagg lived in the Ariège-Pyrenees region of France for six years where she ran a small auberge and tried to convince the French that the British can cook. Having done her bit for Anglo-Gallic gastronomic relations, she now divides her time between the Yorkshire Dales and the Pyrenees. You can find out more on her website www.jstagg.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/staggjulia and follow her on Twitter @juliastagg.

Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a former police officer who lives in Glasgow with her family. She began writing in earnest on the renowned Glasgow University Creative Writing course.www.karencampbell.co.ukwww.twitter.com/writerkcampbell

Kate Jacobs

Kate Jacobs left her native Canada to earn a graduate degree at New York University - and made her home in Manhattan for a decade, where she worked at Redbook, Working Woman, Family Life and LifetimeTV.com. Currently she lives in Southern California with her husband.

Kathryn Fox

Kathryn Fox is a general practitioner with a special interest in forensic medicine. She lives in Sydney where she also works as a freelance medical journalist, having written regularly for publications including Australian Doctor, CLEO magazine and the Sun-Herald.Visit Kathryn Fox's website at www.kathrynfox.com and follow her on Twitter @KathrynFoxBooks