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Stella Duffy has written ten novels, five of them are her Saz Martin series published by Serpentâ€™s Tail â€“ Calendar Girl, Wavewalker, Beneath the Blonde, Fresh Flesh and Mouths of Babes. The other five are non-crime novels published by Sceptre â€“ Singling Out The Couples, Eating Cake, Immaculate Conceit; and Virago â€“ State of Happiness and Parallel Lies.
State of Happiness was long listed for the 2004 Orange Prize, and is in development with Fiesta Productions and Zentropa for whom she is also writing the screenplay. She was co-editor of the anthology Tart Noir, from which her story Martha Grace won the 2002 CWA Short Story Dagger. She has written over thirty short stories and many feature articles and reviews. She has written eight plays including Cell Sell (which she also directed) and Prime Resident for the National Youth Theatre, Crocodiles and Bears for Steam Industry, and The Hand for Gay Sweatshop.
Stella was born in South London, grew up in New Zealand, and has lived in the UK since 1986. She is married to the writer Shelley Silas.
Maxim Jakubowski November 2014 Highly Recommended. London-based New Zealand-bred author and actress Duffy is known for her crime books, her fiercely feminist historical novels and various mainstream books, in addition to her work in the theatre and improvisational comedy. As if that were not talent enough, she is also the first writer to win the prestigious Crime Writers' Association short story Dagger twice, so this volume collecting her best stories from a couple of decades is most welcome. Featuring both her award-winning tales and a series of brief but enticing insights into relationships and their cruelty and affection, the dark side of London and the human mind, quirky trips to Paris and Venice, the inevitable war of the sexes, this collection displays Duffy's proteiform talents at their sharpest, with wit and compassion to the fore.
The fifth in the Saz Martin series is an incredibly absorbing read. It draws you in with tantalizing references to the past, how bullying takes on all forms and how unfortunate actions and their consequences can affect lives long after the event. Stella Duffy has a great flair for creating believable relationships and her characters are well rounded and interesting. Probably her best novel so far.
'FAULTLESS STORYTELLING' Observer 'A PORTRAIT OF SISTERHOOD ... POWERFUL, WISE, CELEBRATORY' Daily Mail A compelling novel about family secrets and the legacy of trauma, set against the changing fortunes of an English seaside town, from award-winning writer Stella Duffy. When Lucy discovers the body of her great aunt Kitty, with a puzzling note and empty pill bottles by her bed, she can't believe that the formidable woman who held her family together is gone - or understand why she has taken her own life. Lucy is determined to decipher Kitty's final message. What she finds will overturn everything she thought she knew about her family. Lullaby Beach takes the reader on a journey through three generations of a complicated, close-knit family whose joys and misfortunes track many of the most pressing conflicts and concerns of post-war Britain, from the promise and hypocrisies of 1950s London to the political divides and risky freedoms of the present day. 'Whether it's down to the sure rhythm of Duffy's faultless storytelling or the faded backdrop of the south coast of England, her latest novel is a comforting tale despite some gritty subject matter ... Wise, generous and atmospheric' OBSERVER 'Duffy is a fearless writer ... A portrait of sisterhood in the wider sense - one that's as powerful and gritty as it is wise and celebratory' DAILY MAIL 'Lullaby Beach explores familial legacy, generational secrets and the effects of long-lasting trauma with a distinct tenderness' NEW STATESMAN 'A writer who never lets you down' ALI SMITH
No more days, no more times, no more tides. No more secrets. A compelling novel about family secrets and the legacy of trauma, set against the changing fortunes of an English seaside town, from award-winning writer Stella Duffy. When Lucy discovers the body of her great aunt Kitty, with a puzzling note and empty pill bottles by her bed, she can't believe that the formidable woman who held her family together is gone - or understand why she has taken her own life. Lucy is determined to decipher Kitty's final message. What she finds will overturn everything she thought she knew about her family. Lullaby Beach takes the reader on a journey through three generations of a complicated, close-knit clan whose joys and misfortunes track many of the most pressing conflicts and concerns of post-war Britain, from the promise and hypocrisies of 1950s London to the political divides and risky freedoms of the present day. Told with the warmth, generosity and fierce passion which has won Stella Duffy so much praise over her career, Lullaby Beach is a brilliant story of loss and love, revenge and redemption.
What secrets is she keeping in the hidden room...? Life is good for Laurie and Martha. They have a beautiful home in the fens, three great kids. Laurie's career as an architect has suddenly taken off. But when a stranger arrives in town, things begin to go wrong. Martha feels resentful of Laurie's success. Teenage daughter Hope becomes withdrawn and obsessive. And Laurie can do nothing. Because this isn't a stranger. She knows this man all too well - and what he's capable of. He's come back for her. And if she tells anyone the truth - she will lose everything.
Based on a true story, London Lies Beneath is a compelling historical novel from the award-winning writer Stella Duffy. 'As gloriously alive as the turn of the century south London streets it portrays' RED In August 1912, three friends set out on an adventure. Two of them come home. Tom, Jimmy and Itzhak have grown up together in the crowded slums of Walworth. All three boys are expected to follow their father's trades and stay close to home. But Tom has wider dreams. So when he hears of a scouting trip, sailing from Waterloo to Sheppey and the mouth of the Thames - he is determined to go. And Itzhak and Jimmy go with him. Inspired by real events, this is the story of three friends, and a tragedy that will change them for ever. It is also a song of south London, of working class families with hidden histories, of a bright and complex world long neglected. London Lies Beneath is a powerful and compelling novel, rich with life and full of wisdom. 'Vivid and full of heart, Duffy's new novel is a fitting hymn to the city that inspired it' FINANCIAL TIMES 'A paean not just to South London, but to a vanished way of working-class life . . . Duffy's narrative is as fluid as a costermonger's patter, carrying the reader along' DAILY MAIL
Arriving at the ancient Musaeum of Alexandria, the Doctor is keen to explore. He might find some new recorder music, and Jamie might discover a new porridge recipe, while Zoe will love the antiquated ideas about astrophysics. But once inside, they all find rather more than they bargained for, and it soon becomes clear they may never leave the Museaum alive
Once, Theodora was little more than a slave, the daughter of a bear-keeper, running barefoot through the streets of Constantinople. Now she is Theoudoron, 'the Gift of God', Empress of Byzantine Rome and the most powerful woman in the world. 'Hard-nosed, cruel, imaginative, kind, frustrated, generous, ruthless: Theodora is, in Duffy's hands, a richly paradoxical character from whom the light of life shines brightly' GUARDIAN In Stella Duffy's compelling new novel, the beguiling and extraordinary Empress Theodora emerges from the shadow of history into brilliant light. Clever, courageous and ruthless when betrayed, Theodora rules alongside her husband, the Emperor Justinian - a true love match in a world of political marriages. But while wars rage on the borders of the Empire, Theodora discovers that the greatest danger to her reign - and her life - lies much closer to home. 'Highly enjoyable' SUNDAY TIMES 'A writer who never lets you down' ALI SMITH
Justinian took a wife: and the manner she was born and bred, and wedded to this man, tore up the Roman Empire by the very roots' Procopius Charming, charismatic, heroic - Theodora of Constantinople rose from nothing to become the most powerful woman in the history of Byzantine Rome. In Stella Duffy's breathtaking new novel, she comes to life again - a fascinating, controversial and seductive woman. Some called her a saint. Others were not so kind... When her father is killed, the young Theodora is forced into near slavery to survive. But just as she learns to control her body as a dancer, and for the men who can afford her, so she is determined to shape a very different fate for herself. From the vibrant streets and erotic stage shows of sixth century Constantinople to the holy desert retreats of Alexandria, Theodora is an extraordinary imaginative achievement from one of our finest writers.
Under his railway arch in Loughborough Junction, South London, Robert Sutton is taking leave of a lifetime of hard work. His dry-cleaning shop lies at the heart of a lively community, a fixed point in a changing world. And, as he explains to his successor, young East Londoner Akeel, it is also the resting place for the contents of his customers' pockets - and for their secrets and lies. As he helps Akeel to make a new life out of his old one, Robert also hands on all he knows of his world: the dirty dip of the Thames; the parks, rare green oases in a desert of high-rises and decaying mansion blocks; and the varied lives that converge at the junction. Humming with life, packed tight with detail, The Room of Lost Things is a hymn of love to a great and overflowing city, and a profoundly human story that holds us in its grip from the first sentence until the last.
A princess, perfect in every way except one, arrives in London from a land of milk and honey and sets up home in a Notting Hill tower block. Her self-appointed mission - to break up couples in love. Men in love with women, men in love with men, and women in love with one another, in her beautiful hand she holds the ripe peach of love and deftly squeezes it dry. For what she lacks is a heart . . .
Celebrity, identity and sexuality - the three poles of our fame-obsessed society, each one a magnet for secrets and lies. Despite her youth, Russian-born Yana Ivanova is already a Hollywood legend. She lives in a beautiful house in Beverly Hills with Jimmy, a sitcom star, and Penny, her British PA. Theirs is a strange and uneasy partnership, held together by sex, secrets and the fear of scandal. Then Yana starts receiving threatening letters from an anonymous but very knowledgeable source. Suspicion turns to fear, and fear leads to murder. But who exactly is conning whom? Stella Duffy has written crime novels and dark romantic comedies. Here she combines the two in a smart, sexy, suspenseful new novel. Poison pen letters, fake identities, misplaced affection, betrayal and murder . . . Still think a menage a trois sounds fun?
Duffy is best known for her sharp insights and sharper wit, and both are on display here... Brave, understated and unforgettable' DAILY MAIL When Jack and Cindy meet at a friend's party they are immediately attracted to one another. Cindy, a celebrated mapmaker, traces the contours of their relationship, from New York to LA, from first passion to real love. After five years together, Cindy and Jack think they have tested their love to its limits. But then Cindy falls dangerously ill, and the couple must face the hardest test of all. Told with wit, tenderness and unflinching honesty, STATE OF HAPPINESS is a captivating story of love and loss from a writer at the height of her powers. 'STATE OF HAPPINESS is a sharp, sobering cocktail spiked with metaphysic, immense good humour and understanding. Stella Duffy gets better and better' Ali Smith, author of HOTEL WORLD