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Patrick McGuiness is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Oxford University and a Fellow of St Anne's College where he has taught since 1998. He lives in North West Wales. Carcanet publishes his poetry and he has won an Eric Gregory Award, the American Poetry Foundation Levinson Prize in 2003 and Poetry Business Prize in 2006.
Beautifully eloquent, well written, and somehow teetering right on the edge of being a crime novel even with a murder and two investigating detectives. When a young woman is murdered, a neighbour and retired teacher is arrested and quickly forged into a monster by the press and social media. One of the detectives recognises his former teacher and takes a step back into his childhood. This is a book that covers a number of subjects, it is both sharp and focused, and lyrically descriptive. While a murder sits at its heart, it looks into the shadows of hate, bullying and abuse. Patrick McGuinness has the ability in a few words to paint a vivid scene. New thoughts cracked open inside my head and I felt that not a word was wasted, even when “a third cup of tea” is poured. As I read I explored a variety of emotions and found myself entirely consumed by Throw Me to the Wolves. A Liz Pick of the Month, and a fabulously provocative and challenging read, I loved it.
A young woman has been murdered, and a neighbour, a retired teacher from Chapleton College, is arrested. An eccentric loner - intellectual, shy, a fastidious dresser with expensive tastes - he is the perfect candidate for a media monstering. In custody he is interviewed by two detectives: the smart-talking, quick-witted Gary, and his watchful colleague, Ander. Ander is always watchful, but particularly now, because the man across the table is his former teacher - Michael Wolphram - whom he hasn't seen in nearly 30 years. As the novel proceeds, we watch Wolphram's media lynching as ex-pupils and colleagues line up to lie about him. In parallel, we read Ander's memories of his life as a young Dutch boy in 80s England. Another outsider, another loner in a school system rife with abuse and bullying, Ander has another case to solve: the cold case of his own childhood. Though it deals with historical abuse and violence in schools, and the corrupt power of the popular media, Throw Me to the Wolves is about childhood and memory. A perceptive and pertinent novel of our times, beautifully written and psychologically acute, it manages to be both very funny and - at the same time - shatteringly sad.
The socialist state is in crisis, the shops are empty and old Bucharest vanishes daily under the onslaught of Ceaucescu's demolition gangs. Paranoia is pervasive and secret service men lurk in the shadows.
From the troubadours of the Middle Ages to the titans of modern poetry, from Rabelais and Ronsard to Jacques Reda and Yves Bonnefoy, French Poetry offers English-speaking readers a one-volume introduction to a rich and varied tradition. Here are today's rising stars mingling with the great writers of past centuries: La Fontaine, Villon, du Bellay, Christine de Pisan, Marguerite de Navarre, Louise Labe, Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarme, Apollinaire, and many more. Here, too, are representatives of the modern francophone world, encompassing Lebanese, Tunisian, Senegalese and Belgian poets, including such notable writers as Leopold Senghor, Venus Khoury-Ghata and Hedi Kaddour. Finally, this anthology showcases a wide range of the English language's finest translators - including such renowned poet-translators as Ezra Pound, John Ashbery, Marianne Moore and Derek Mahon - in a dazzling tribute to the splendours of French poetry.
Winner of the 2014 Duff Cooper Prize Winner of the 2015 Welsh Book of the Year Award Shortlisted for the 2015 James Tait Black Memorial Prize Shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Ackerley prize Longlisted for the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize Let me take you down the thin cobblestoned streets of the Belgian border town of Bouillon. Let me take you down the alleys that lead into its past. To a town peopled with eccentrics, full of charm, menace and wonder. To the days before television, to Marie Bodard's sweetshop, to the Nazi occupation and unexpected collaborators. To a place where one neighbour murders another over the misfortune of pigs and potatoes. To the hotel where the French poet Verlaine his lover Rimbaud, holed up whilst on the run from family, creditors and the law. This exquisite meditation on place, time and memory is an illicit peek into other people's countries, into the spaces they have populated with their memories, and might just make you revisit your own in a new and surprising way.
Once 'the Paris of the East', Bucharest in 1989 is a world of danger, repression and corruption, but also of intensity and ravaged beauty. As Ceausescu's demolition squads race to destroy the old city and replace it with a sinister Stalinist Legoland, its inhabitants live out communism's dying days not knowing how or where things will end. In 'The Last Hundred Days' a young English student arrives in Bucharest to take up a job he never applied for and whose duties are never made clear. He finds dissidents, party apparatchiks, black-marketeers, diplomats, spies and ordinary Romanians, all watching each other as Europe's most paranoid regime plays out its bloody endgame.
The poems in Jilted City inhabit in-between-places, when a border is being crossed, a word is slipping into another language, when memory is translating loss. From 'Stations where the train doesn't stop' in 'Blue Guide', following a train journey through Belgium, to 'City of Lost Walks', English versions of a dissident Romanian poet whose 'poetry fails to register except in the form of an omission', McGuinness explores transition and translation, the afterlife of absences. Wit and paradox are at the heart of a collection that finds unforeseen connections between place and displacement.