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Patrick Gale - Author

About the Author

Patrick Gale was our Guest Editor in June 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. One of this country's best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through and the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition.

Author photo © Daniel Hall Photography

Featured books by Patrick Gale

Other books by Patrick Gale

Little Bits of Baby

Little Bits of Baby

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/12/2018

Patrick Gale's LITTLE BITS OF BABY is a charming, witty novel of love, possibility and life in crisis - 'Richly comic, affectionate and perceptive' Mail on Sunday Eight years ago, Robin fled from his family, friends, and entire life, to suffer a complete breakdown in an island monastery. Now he's reconnecting with those he left behind: his mother and father, with their own small secrets, and Jake and Candida, both of whom were impossibly close to Robin when he disappeared. But while the people he abandoned have missed him, Robin finds that everything has changed. He alone can decide what he will do in this new world of resentment, possibility and triumphant love.

The Cat Sanctuary

The Cat Sanctuary

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/12/2018

An entertaining, warm and quirky novel of families, secrets and the truth of love - 'A powerful and moving novel' Independent on Sunday 'Engrossing . . . Gale is a charmingly idiosyncratic writer who could not write a cliche if he tried' Daily Telegraph Judith shares her life with her partner Joanna on the lonely wilds of Bodmin Moor, far from the memories and trauma of her childhood. But when Judith's sister, Deborah, is tragically widowed, the women agree to meet. And what is intended to be a harmonious reunion turns into an entanglement of resentment, jealousy and desire, as aspects of the past force themselves into an uneasy present, with some surprising results.

Three Decades of Stories

Three Decades of Stories

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/12/2018

THREE DECADES OF STORIES is a unique collection of Patrick Gale's two volumes of dark, moving, often witty and eccentric stories, GENTLEMAN'S RELISH and DANGEROUS PLEASURES. It also includes the acclaimed long story, CAESAR'S WIFE. Ranging from a lonely prisoner governor's wife, to a housewife desperate for a makeover; a father's trip to his former school to a long-term mistress offered an unexpected marriage, this is a volume that highlights Patrick Gale's skill of digging beneath the surface of relationships and exposing the often brutal mechanisms that drive them.

The Aerodynamics of Pork

The Aerodynamics of Pork

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

THE AERODYNAMICS OF PORK is an irresistible novel of love, music and comedy - 'A master storyteller' Independent on Sunday 'Gale's concoction is irresistible: modern relationships with period charm' Armistead Maupin Seth, a musical prodigy on the eve of his sixteenth birthday, is obsessed with sex and with the men he might meet, as well as with his strange family - his arch mother, his beautiful sister, and his damaged, distant father. Mo, a policewoman struggling with moral dilemmas and her sexuality in the violent, bigoted police force of the 1980s, wants only to find romance. In this haunting tale of self discovery and hidden identities, Mo and Seth will connect to face unexpected truths about themselves, and those they have chosen to love.

Kansas in August

Kansas in August

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

Patrick Gale's KANSAS IN AUGUST is a witty, warm novel of childhood and abandonment for readers of Armistead Maupin and Edmund White 'Modern, excellent and sympathetic' Stephen Fry Musical-obsessed Hilary Metcalfe, abandoned by his lover Rufus on his birthday, gets drunk, discovers a baby and brings it home to his flat above a corner shop to provide comfort and company. Rufus, meanwhile, allows himself to be seduced by a frivolous young woman, who is actually Hilary's professional, high-powered sister, romancing under a pseudonym to escape the reality of her own loneliness. In this witty, bawdy slice of sex and lies, the trio will find themselves drawn together ever more tightly by the lures of hedonism, self-delusion and the inescapable desire to be needed.

Facing the Tank

Facing the Tank

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

Patrick Gale's FACING THE TANK is a witty, eccentric novel of clergy, scandal and English eccentrics - 'Made me laugh out loud' Sunday Times' Gale speedily unleashes his merrily black mischief. The uncovering of the sadness behind the doilies and twinsets is in the best tradition of black humour' Observer American Professor Evan Kirby, moving to Barrowcester to research Paradise after a successful book on Hell, expects a very English cathedral society of gentle clergymen and coffee mornings. What he finds instead is a town thrown into chaos by strange, supernatural events, scandalous pregnancies and a Satanic summoning of a young feral girl.

Ease

Ease

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

A quirky, warm novel of eccentric adventure from the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER - 'A huge treat' Daily Mail 'Patrick Gale is among the great, unsung English novelists. Think Austen, Hardy, Murdoch. Remarkable' Independent Domina Tey is a playwright, celebrated by friends, her husband, and the public alike, yet she fears losing her vital edge. Her solution: to leave her beautiful home in Bristol and seek adventure in a squalid West London bedsit, where she will live under an assumed name with only her typewriter for companionship. Once installed, however, she can't resist meddling in the business of others, forgetting that blurring fact with fiction can be a dangerous game.

Take Nothing With You

Take Nothing With You

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/08/2018

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a compassionate, compelling new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. 'It's delicious, it's dear, it's heart-breaking and very funny' Rachel Joyce 'An incredibly beautiful story told with compassion. Nothing is wasted. Each sentence is beautifully crafted' Joanna Cannon 1970s Weston-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother. When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice. Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale's new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.

Take Nothing With You

Take Nothing With You

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/08/2018

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. For all readers of Ian McEwan's ATONEMENT or L P Hartley's THE GO-BETWEEN. 1970s Western-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother. When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice. Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale's new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.

Tree Surgery for Beginners

Tree Surgery for Beginners

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/07/2018

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER, TREE SURGERY FOR BEGINNERS is a funny, elegant and eclectic novel of love, lies and the secrets we live with ' A very funny, often sad, erudite eclectic novel writ with style. Terrific' Time Out 'Excellent' The Times When Lawrence Frost wakes up one morning to discover his wife and child have gone missing, there is gruesome evidence to suggest he may be the main suspect in a murder investigation. Confused, threatened with the loss of everything he loves, Lawrence is sent to the Caribbean on a kill-or-cure cruise. On board and ashore he will discover love, deceit, the truth about his missing family, and the blessings that come with surrendering to destiny.

Friendly Fire

Friendly Fire

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/07/2018

Insightful and full of understanding and warmth, Patrick Gale's FRIENDLY FIRE is a richly compelling story of adolescence, sexuality and the lessons we carry forever. 'An intense tale of love, life, intellectualism and passion. Inspirational' Daily Express 'Utterly compelling from first to last' Stephen Fry Sophie, an orphan in love with learning, is sure she will thrive in Tatham's, an esteemed boarding school, having survived years of institutional living. But she soon finds herself lost among its cliques and rituals. Befriending two teenage boys, she experiences the first ache of futile love, then a brilliant teacher's inappropriate attention to one of the trio threatens to destroy them all. Sophie swiftly realizes that there are tougher lessons to absorb outside the schoolroom - of class, sex, families and the emotional disaster they can bring to even the most privileged lives.

A Sweet Obscurity

A Sweet Obscurity

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/07/2018

Bittersweet and startling, A SWEET OBSCURITY is a novel of childhood, love and the consequences of how lives are lived. 'Intriguing and impressive. A memorable study of a child forced cruelly, even tragically, to grow up too soon' Sunday Times Since her mother's death, nine year old Dido has been living with her eccentric aunt, acting as peacekeeper between Eliza, her estranged husband Giles and his girlfriend. They are each cruelly burdened in different ways. Chance draws them down to Cornwall, where a country idyll offers to lighten their urban cares. Eliza falls in love with local farmer, Pearce, an event that causes the four adults to re-assess their lives, with some painful and unforeseen consequences for adults and child alike.

The Facts of Life

The Facts of Life

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/07/2018

Patrick Gale's THE FACTS OF LIFE is a mesmerising, epic yet intimate novel of love, music and the life events that stay with us forever - perfect for any reader of Armistead Maupin, or E M Forster 'Absorbing . . . deftly characterised, deeply involving and relevant' The Times German composer Edward Pepper escapes to England just before the war begins in earnest. Struck with TB, he is recuperating in hospital when he meets Sally, a young doctor who has battled her way through medical school, despite the opposition of her parents. They fall in love and marry, settling in the fenlands of East Anglia. Years later, Edward watches as his grandchildren trip up against life and death, and realises that patterns can repeat themselves, bringing both pain and unexpected discovery.

A Perfectly Good Man

A Perfectly Good Man

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

Devastatingly moving and full of psychological insight, A PERFECTLY GOOD MAN is a warm, humane Cornish novel from the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER 'A convincing, moving account of man's struggle with faith, marriage and morality' Sunday Times On a clear, crisp summer's day in Cornwall, a young man carefully prepares to take his own life, and asks family friend, John Barnaby, to pray with him. Barnaby - priest, husband and father - has always tried to do good, though life hasn't always been rosy. Lenny's request poses problems, not just for Barnaby, but for his wife and family, and the wider community, as the secrets of the past push themselves forcefully into the present for all to see.

Rough Music

Rough Music

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

Truly compelling and rich with emotional insight , Patrick Gale's Cornish novel, ROUGH MUSIC is a beautiful story of a marriage and the secrets a family holds. 'Sparkling with emotional intelligence. A gripping portrait of a marriage and the quiet, devastating fall-out of family life' Independent Julian is a contented if naive only child, and a holiday on the coast of North Cornwall should be perfect, especially when distant American cousins join the party. But their arrival brings upheaval and unexpected turmoil. It is only as a seemingly well-adjusted adult that Julian is able to reflect on the realities of his parents' marriage, and to recognise that the happy, cheerful boyhood he thought was his is infused with secrets, loss and the memory of betrayals that have shaped his life.

Notes from an Exhibition

Notes from an Exhibition

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

A bestselling 'Cornish' novel, NOTES FROM AN EXHIBITION is a moving, intuitive novel of artistic compulsion, marriage, and the secrets left behind. It was a Richard & Judy bestseller. 'Poised and pitch-perfect throughout' Mail on Sunday Celebrated artist Rachel Kelly dies alone in her Penzance studio, after decades of struggling with the creative highs and devastating lows that have coloured her life. Her family gathers, each of them searching for answers. They reflect on lives shaped by the enigmatic Rachel - as artist, wife and mother - and on the ambiguous legacies she leaves them, of talent, torment and transcendent love.

The Whole Day Through

The Whole Day Through

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER, Patrick Gale's THE WHOLE DAY THROUGH is the beautiful structured story of the choices we make when we come face to face with our past. 'Wry, clever, faultlessly crafted' Guardian 'Poignant and acutely observed' Daily Express Laura Lewis has left her life in Paris and returned home to Winchester to care for her aging, but still sharp mother. Ben has moved away from his beautiful and loyal wife to support his brother, living alone since their mother's death. A chance encounter reminds them both of the relationship - and the spark - they once shared. In the course of a single summer's day, they come face to face with the feelings of love and regret they share, and the choices they must make; whether to be true to themselves, or to what they believe is the right thing to do.

Gentleman's Relish

Gentleman's Relish

Author: Patrick Gale Format: eBook Release Date: 05/01/2018

Dark, moving and eccentric, GENTLEMAN'S RELISH is Patrick Gale's second collection of subversive and exhilarating short stories'The short story form suits Gale's ability to zoom in on the smallest nuances of a relationship'Kate Saunders, The TimesA lonely prison governor's wife develops a sudden passion for an unexpected hobby; a cookery connoisseur suspects his homophobic father and brothers are attempting to manipulate him and looks for revenge; a grandmother offers hair-raising family tales to her abandoned grandchildren; a sex demon in an old casket gruesomely transforms a honeymooning couple. In his second collection of short stories, Patrick Gale creates worlds where the making and breaking of relationships -between mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, lovers and strangers -offer unforgettably dark and moving twists to these utterly unpredictable lives.

Dangerous Pleasures

Dangerous Pleasures

Author: Patrick Gale Format: eBook Release Date: 05/01/2018

Gentle, witty and sometimes disturbing, DANGEROUS PLEASURES is Patrick Gale's first collection of much loved short stories'Nattily subversive, sexually ambiguous, intelligent and disturbing. The prose sizzles with acidic observation' Sunday TimesA funeral party ends in an unexpected manner; parents are faced with difficult decisions about their daughter; a housewife transforms her personality with a simple touch-up; a father's trip to his former school brings back memories of love he thought buried forever. From gothic thrills and twisted comedy to moving family vignettes, Dangerous Pleasures offers a memorable collection of Patrick Gale's brilliant short stories of marriage, sex and mortality.

A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015

A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015

Author: Patrick Gale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/03/2015

** Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015 ** Picked for the BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything. A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.

A Perfectly Good Man

A Perfectly Good Man

Author: Patrick Gale Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/07/2012

When 20-year-old Lenny Barnes, paralysed in a rugby accident, commits suicide in the presence of Barnaby Johnson, the much-loved priest of a West Cornwall parish, the tragedy's reverberations open up the fault-lines between Barnaby and his nearest and dearest. The personal stories of his wife, children and lover illuminate and the gulfs of unspoken sadness that separate them all. Across this web of relations scuttles Barnaby's repellent nemesis - a man as wicked as his prey is virtuous. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.

Saving Space

Saving Space

Author: Patrick Gale Format: eBook Release Date: 11/04/2011

Originally published in Gentleman's Relish, Saving Space recounts the beauty of quiet of the Church Festival.A selection of masterful short stories from 4th Estate short story collections, and the best talent from The Sunday Times authors, available to purchase for the first time as single story ebooks.

Gentleman's Relish

Gentleman's Relish

Author: Patrick Gale Format: eBook Release Date: 28/01/2011

A loving father struggles with his teenage sons' rebellions.Fast Fiction: A selection of masterful short stories from 4th Estate short story collections, and the best talent from The Sunday Times authors, available to purchase as single story ebooks.

Obedience

Obedience

Author: Patrick Gale Format: eBook Release Date: 28/01/2011

An obedience lesson with a puppy leads to the discovery of a murder.Fast Fiction: A selection of masterful short stories from 4th Estate short story collections, and the best talent from The Sunday Times authors, available to purchase as single story ebooks.

Cookery

Cookery

Author: Patrick Gale Format: eBook Release Date: 28/01/2011

Perry finally escapes his overbearing father, who wanted him to pursue more manly interests over his love of cooking.Fast Fiction: A selection of masterful short stories from 4th Estate short story collections, and the best talent from The Sunday Times authors, available to purchase as single story ebooks.A selection of masterful short stories from 4th Estate short story collections, and the best talent from The Sunday Times authors, available to purchase for the first time as single story ebooks.

The Whole Day Through

The Whole Day Through

Author: Patrick Gale Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/12/2009

When forty-something Laura Lewis is obliged to abandon a life of stylish independence in Paris to care for her elderly mother it seems all romantic opportunities have gone up in smoke. Then she runs into Ben, the great love of her student days - and, as she only now dares admit, the emotional touchstone against which she has judged every man since. Are they brave enough to take a second chance at the lasting happiness fate has offered them? This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.