Grace McCleen - Author

About the Author

Grace McCleen's first novel, The Land of Decoration, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Desmond Elliott Prize for the best first novel of the year. It was also chosen for Richard & Judy's Book Club and won her the Betty Trask Prize in 2013. Her second novel, The Professor of Poetry, was published by Sceptre in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Encore Award. She read English at the University of Oxford and has an MA from York, and currently lives in London.

Featured books by Grace McCleen

The Offering

The Offering

Author: Grace McCleen Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/2015

Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. I thought it began the day Father came home without work. Then I thought perhaps it really began the day we arrived at the farm, rumbled up the track, opened the gate and stood looking around as if we had found ourselves in some enchanted land ...Something happened on Madeline's fourteenth birthday, something so traumatic that it triggered her mental breakdown. Many years later, she still can't - or perhaps won't - recall the events of that night. A charismatic new psychiatrist, Dr Lucas, believes he can unlock Madeline's memory by taking her step by step through the preceding year, when her father moved the family to an island he was certain God had guided them to. Money was short, her mother often unwell and her father a volatile presence. Yet Madeline loved their rural idyll, sensing God in every blade of grass; and when things started to go wrong, she thought she knew how to put them right. But as Dr Lucas unearths the past, it becomes apparent that she was seriously misguided - and that he is treading on very dangerous ground.

The Land of Decoration

The Land of Decoration

Author: Grace McCleen Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2013

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012. One of the Richard and Judy Spring 2013 Book Club selections. My name is Judith McPherson. I am ten years old. On Monday a miracle happened. Judith doesn't have much. The house she shares with her devoutly religious father is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother Judith never knew. Bullied at school, she finds comfort in creating a miniature world in her bedroom - a world of wonder she calls The Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow in The Land of Decoration there will be no school on Monday. Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. And that's when her troubles begin.

The Land of Decoration

The Land of Decoration

Author: Grace McCleen Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2012

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012. Judith and her father don't have much - their house is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother she's never known. But Judith sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith, and where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility. Bullied at school, she finds solace in making a model of the Promised Land - little people made from pipe cleaners, a sliver of moon, luminous stars and a mirror sea - a world of wonder that Judith calls The Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow indoors (using shaving foam and cotton wool and cellophane) there will be no school on Monday...Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. She has performed her first miracle. And that's when her troubles begin.

Other books by Grace McCleen

The Offering

The Offering

Author: Grace McCleen Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/06/2015

It was the year when Madeline's family moved to an island her father believed God had guided him to. It was a place where she revelled in the natural beauty of their surroundings. It was a time of euphoria, but also of successive disasters. It was the night Madeline turned fourteen, when she did something she thought would save her beloved mother. Something so traumatic that she cannot now recall it, but her suave new psychiatrist thinks he knows how to unlock her memory. He is treading on very dangerous ground.

The Professor of Poetry

The Professor of Poetry

Author: Grace McCleen Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/03/2014

Elizabeth Stone, a respected academic, has a new lease on life. In remission from cancer, she returns to the city where she was a student over thirty years ago to investigate some little-known papers by T. S. Eliot, which she believes contain the seeds of her masterpiece; a masterpiece that centres on a poem given to her when she was eighteen by the elusive Professor Hunt... But as the days pass in the city she loves and her friendship with Professor Hunt is rekindled, her memories return her to a time shadowed by loneliness, longing and quiet despair, and to an undeclared but overwhelming love. Paralysed by the fear of writing something worthless, haunted by a sense of waste, Elizabeth Stone comes to realise she is facing the biggest test of her life. As in her acclaimed debut The Land of Decoration, Grace McCleen gives an intense evocation of place, an unflinching portrayal of a character by turns comic, absurd, and disturbing, and a powerful sense of the transcendent within the ordinary. Profound and hypnotic, The Professor of Poetry devastates even as it exhilarates and echoes long after it has been closed.

The Land of Decoration

The Land of Decoration

Author: Grace McCleen Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2013

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012. One of the Richard and Judy Spring 2013 Book Club selections. My name is Judith McPherson. I am ten years old. On Monday a miracle happened. Judith doesn't have much. The house she shares with her devoutly religious father is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother Judith never knew. Bullied at school, she finds comfort in creating a miniature world in her bedroom - a world of wonder she calls The Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow in The Land of Decoration there will be no school on Monday. Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. And that's when her troubles begin.

Land of Decoration

Land of Decoration

Author: Grace McCleen Format: eBook Release Date: 07/08/2012

Ten-year-old Judith McPherson is a believer. She sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith. Where others might see rubbish, Judith finds possibility and traces of the divine.But at school Judiths difference marks her only for persecution at the hands of her classmates. And lately, even at home she struggles to find connection in a house filled with relics of a mother shes never known. To escape, Judith makes things in the Land of Decoration, a model in miniature of the Promised Land made of collected scraps. Piece by piece, the world in her room mirrors the town outside: a discarded shoelace is a garden hose, an orange peel a slide. But in the Land of Decoration, nothing is what it once was, and nothing is quite as it seems.As ominous forces disrupt the monotonous everydaya strike threatens her fathers factory job, and the taunting at school slips into dangerous territoryJudith makes a miracle in the Land of Decoration that solidifies her blossoming convictions. She is Gods chosen instrument. But such a gift is difficult to control, its origins uncertain, and its consequences may threaten the very foundations of Judiths world.A debut as intimate and original as it is electrifying, The Land of Decoration casts startling light on how far one extraordinary young girl will go to protect the people she loves most.

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