Andrew Cowan - Worthless Men - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781444759402
    • Publication date:14 Feb 2013

Worthless Men

By Andrew Cowan

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A novel about the First World War that is as mesmerising as it is unusual, a triumphant new work by one of the most acclaimed writers of the 90s.

It's market day in an English city two years into the Great War. The farmers are coming in from the country, the cattle are being driven through the streets and that evening a trainload of wounded soldiers is due to arrive. At the local mansion, its new hospital tents to the ready, waits Montague Beckwith, himself a psychological casualty of the war. In the town's poorest quarter, Winnie Barley prays that Walter, her missing son, will be on the train (but that her violent husband is not). In the pharmacy, Gertie Dobson dreams of romance while her father keeps unsuitable men at bay. And everywhere is Walter, a ghostly presence who watches as the girl he loved from a distance is drawn into Montague's orbit.
Weaving together multiple viewpoints, Andrew Cowan creates a panoramic, extraordinarily vivid portrait of a place as individual as it is archetypal. Here is a community where the war permeates high and low; where the factory now produces barbed wire, the women are doing the men's jobs, and the young men are no longer so eager to answer the King's call. And here is the tragic story of a casual betrayal, and a boy who proved that those at the bottom of the heap - the worthless ones - could be the most valiant of them all.
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Biographical Notes

Andrew Cowan was born in Corby and educated at the University of East Anglia. Pig, his first novel, won The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, a Betty Trask Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Prize, the Author`s Club First Novel Award and a Scottish Council Book Award. He is also the author of the writing guidebook The Art of Writing and three other novels: Common Ground, Crustaceans and What I Know. He is the Director of the Creative Writing programme at UEA.

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  • ISBN: 9781444759433
  • Publication date: 14 Feb 2013
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Sceptre
A brilliant novel, original, powerfully written, and very moving — John Boyne
Distinguished by its remarkable close focus on life in Britain and the families back home. From multiple viewpoints, Cowan - a highly talented but still under-recognised novelist - follows working-class teenager Walter, troubled officer Montague, and the girl who attracts them both, beautiful Gertie, the daughter of their local chemist-cum-vet-cum-abortionist. Both Montague and Gertie's father have a keen amateur interest in "eugenical science", which held out a crazed initial hope that the war would be good for the fitness of the species . . . memorable for its time-travelling density of period evocation — Phil Baker, The Sunday Times
Provincial realism it may be; to suggest it's nothing special is too modest by half. — Guardian
A wonderful and moving book, wholly original in its treatment of the war's bleak surrealism. I was completely transported. It's sensuous and funny and somehow manages never to be moralising. — Tessa Hadley
Cowan's serious-minded project suggests, intriguingly, an un-spoken truth - that the lack of all those young soldiers on the home front meant a calmer, saner society . . . Yet this is no romanticised history - Cowan never lets us forget the earthy truths of life — Jonathan Barnes, Literary Review
Andrew Cowan's fifth novel takes a loud subject - the First World War; its casualties and the disastrous effect it has on an English town - and quietens it with detail . . . it is heartening to see a writer with several books behind him take a risk. — Lesley McDowell, Glasgow Herald
Packed with beautiful period details . . . His style is creative but the creativity serves the story and there's never the feeling, as can be the case, of the style getting in the way of the lives of these people. The result is a haunting, and often moving, record of life in a market town during the Great War. — Bookbag
His voices ring so true they break your heart. This novel has the feel of an elegiac poem and is an absolute delight to read. — We Love This Book
Sceptre

Common Ground

Andrew Cowan
Authors:
Andrew Cowan
Sceptre

What I Know

Andrew Cowan
Authors:
Andrew Cowan

On the morning of his fortieth birthday, Mike Hannah wakes from a dream about the girl he loved twenty years earlier. Once an aspiring writer, he is now a private detective whose work and marriage have become routine, and he begins to wonder what might have been. Which leads him to wondering where his ex-girlfriend is now, and whether other people's lives are more exciting than his. Which leads him to spying on his own family, friends and neighbours. Which leads to some very unwelcome surprises...

Sceptre

Pig

Andrew Cowan
Authors:
Andrew Cowan

Ned Beauman

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 and lives in London. He has written for Dazed & Confused, AnOther and the Guardian. His debut novel, BOXER, BEETLE was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize, and won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Fiction Book. Ned Beauman was picked by The Culture Show as one of the 12 Best New British Writers in 2011. His second novel, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.www.nedbeauman.co.ukwww.nedbeauman.blogspot.co.uk

New International Version

The New International Version is the world's most popular modern English Bible translation. Developed by Biblica, formerly the International Bible Society, the New International Version is the result of years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, overseeing the efforts of many contributing scholars. The translators are drawn from a wide range of denominations and from various countries and they continually review new research in order to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance and authority.www.hodderbibles.co.uk www.facebook.com/NIVBibles

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is the author of numerous novels and short stories, including Zahrah the Windseeker, which won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature, Who Fears Death, winner of the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel,and Lagoon, which Ngugi wa Thiong'o, author of Wizard of the Crow, calls 'a thing of magic and beauty.' She lives in New York, where she is a professor of creative writing at the University of Buffalo, SUNY.

Noel Barber

Noel Barber has enchanted millions of readers with his six bestselling novels. In these powerfully exotic novels he drew upon his own experience as one of the leading foreign correspondents from the 40s to the 60s working on the Daily Mail. He was the first Briton to reach the South Pole since Scott, was stabbed five times while covering the wars in Morocco and was shot during the Hungarian uprising. He died in 1988.

Olivia Darling

Thirty-two year old Olivia Darling was born and raised in Cornwall. At the age of eighteen she fell in lust with an Italian art student in St Ives and ran away to Tuscany in hot pursuit of him. The love affair didn't last but Olivia's sojourn in Montepulciano inspired a much more enduring passion for Vino Nobile. She divides her time between Tuscany and London, where she writes her novels of sex, love and luxury.

Patricia Robins

Patricia Robins wrote her first book at the age of twelve, encouraged by her mother, the bestselling author Denise Robins. After the Second World War, during which Patricia served on secret duties, she started her highly-successful and prolific career as a romantic novelist. Patricia also writes magnificent family sagas and thrillers under the name Claire Lorrimer.

Patricia Wentworth

Patricia Wentworth was born in Uttarakhand, India but as a young girl moved to London to study at Blackheath High School for Girls. After writing several romances she turned her hand to crime fiction. She wrote dozens of bestselling mysteries before her death in 1961, and is recognised as one of the mistresses of classic crime fiction.

Patrick Lennon

Patrick Lennon grew up in Cambridge and has lived in Thailand, Italy, France and Mexico. His first book CORN DOLLS was shortlisted for the 2008 Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Award and was a bestseller in Italy and Germany. He has now written three thrillers featuring Tom Fletcher.Today Lennon splits his time between his young family, his writing and running his own business.Visit Patrick Lennon's website at www.patrick-lennon.com

Paul Burke

His advertising work has won him almost every award in industry including campaigns for Barclaycard, VW, PG Tips, British Gas and Budweiser. At the same time he pursued a parallel career as a DJ on radio, in clubs and has worked for LBC, GLR and Heart 106.2. He has also written for the Guardian, Tatler and The Sunday Times.

Paul Cornish

Paul Cornish was educated at the University of St Andrews and the London School of Economics. He then served in the British Army (Royal Tank Regiment) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before completing his PhD in strategic history at the University of Cambridge. He is Chief Strategist at Cityforum Public Policy Analysis and Visiting Professor at the National Security College, Australian National University.

Peter Hopkirk

Peter Hopkirk travelled widely in the regions where his six books are set: Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, Iran, and Eastern Turkey. He worked as an ITN reporter, the New York correspondent of the old Daily Express, and - for twenty years - on The Times. No stranger to misadventure, he was twice held in secret police cells and has was also hijacked by Arab terrorists. His works have been translated into many languages. All six of his books are available from John Murray: THE GREAT GAME, ON SECRET SERVICE EAST OF CONSTANTINOPLE, SETTING THE EAST ABLAZE, TRESPASSERS ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, FOREIGN DEVILS ON THE SILK ROAD and QUEST FOR KIM.

Peter Salmon

Peter Salmon is an Australian writer now living in the UK and running The Hurst - the Arvon Foundation writing centre once owned by playwright John Osborne. He has written for television and radio and has published short stories. The Coffee Story is his first novel.www.peter-salmon.co.ukwww.twitter.com/petesalmon

Phillip Lewis

Phillip Lewis was born and raised in a small town called West Jefferson in the mountains of North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later received a law degree from Campbell University. While his law practice is based in downtown Charlotte, much of his work has been in the western part of North Carolina, in the mountains.

Posie Graeme-Evans

Posie Graeme-Evans was born in England but travelled all over the world with her parents, a novelist and an Australian spitfire fighter pilot. Posie has worked in the Australian film and television industry for the last 25 years as an editor, director and producer on hundreds of prime time television programmes including the number one drama series McLeod's Daughters and the worldwide pre-school phenomenon Hi-5.Posie and Andrew Blaxland, her husband and creative partner, live in Tasmania.

Qiu Xiaolong

Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park. In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association. In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there. Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. In the 1960s he was removed from the SAS Regiment for misuse of explosives but, joining the army of the Sultan of Oman, received that country's Bravery Medal on active service in 1971. He is the only person yet to have been awarded two clasps to the Polar medal for both Antarctic and the Arctic regions. Fiennes has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth, and in 2003 he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in aid of the British Heart Foundation.In 1993 Her Majesty the Queen awarded Fiennes the Order of the British Empire (OBE) because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over £14 million for charity. He was named Best Sportsman in the 2007 ITV Great Briton Awards and in 2009 he became the oldest Briton to reach the summit of Everest.

Richard Hough

Richard Hough with his high reputation as a biographer and naval historian, is the author of many books. He wrote THE MURDER OF CAPTAIN COOK in 1979 to mark the bicentenary of the explorer's death in that year.