Gerard Woodward - Author

About the Author

Gerard Woodward lives in Bath. His first novel, August, was published in 2001 to great acclaim, and he has also written three award-winning collections of poetry. When he is not writing, Gerard refills the chocolate machines at Manchester University.

 

Featured books by Gerard Woodward

Other books by Gerard Woodward

The Paper Lovers

The Paper Lovers

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/05/2018

`Hugely enjoyable' John Boyne `Contemporary family drama at its most compelling, and with a brutally exquisite ending' Nathan Filer `I couldn't put it down till I was done' Nikita Lalwani Arnold Proctor's quiet life is thrown off balance when he falls obsessively in love with Vera, a religious woman and one of his wife's friends. Vera seems untroubled by her wrongdoing, yet faithless Arnold is wracked with guilt. He has never believed in God, but now he wonders if he truly believes in anything at all? Polly makes handcrafted paper, and even though the age of paper is dead, she runs a successful shop selling her exquisite products. Polly is secure and happy in her life, until the day her husband Arnold makes a very uncharacteristic declaration. The Paper Lovers is a devastating story of sexual, religious and artistic obsession. It is about love and betrayal, and what becomes of us after our greatest certainties have been shattered.

Legoland

Legoland

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/03/2017

A stunning new collection of stories from the Man Booker Prize and Whitbread Prize shortlisted author. Many of Legoland's stories begin with the seemingly every day, only for a turn of events to land them in an unsettling place where life's normal rules no longer apply. Whether he's writing about a child's birthday party or the invasion of an unnamed country each story is full of Woodward's blacker-than-black humour, fearless surrealism, and poetic phrasing. Included here is his brilliant story 'The Family Whistle', shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Legoland celebrates Woodward's trademark gift for wit and surprise: his lithe prose carrying us from comedy to tragedy and back again within a single tale. It confirms him as one of the most gifted and original writers of our time. `Gerard Woodward falls squarely between the comic lunacy of American short-form virtuoso George Saunders and the everyday rhapsodies of Raymond Carver' Time Out

Legoland

Legoland

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/02/2016

Many of Legoland's fifteen stories begin with Woodward's sharp and unflinching eye alighting upon an apparently everyday detail or situation, but then a sudden twist takes them to an unsettling place where life's normal rules no longer apply. Whether he's writing about domestic subjects - such as in 'The Unloved', when a woman in a dysfunctional marriage finally leaves home after decades of misery; or tackling large issues on a global stage - the tyranny of dictators in 'The Fall of Mr and Mrs Nicholson'; or the invasion of an unnamed country in 'The Flag', each story is full of Woodward's blacker-than-black humour, fearless surrealism, and gift for phrase-making. The collection also includes Woodward's brilliant story 'The Family Whistle', shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, in which a woman's husband returns home from war, only to discover his wife thinks he's been back for years because another man has already claimed his place. Legoland celebrates Woodward's gift for clarity, wit and surprise: his lithe prose and willingness to ignore convention carrying us from comedy to tragedy and back again, sometimes in a single story; it confirms him as one of the most gifted and original writers of our time.

Vanishing A Novel

Vanishing A Novel

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/05/2015

Vanishing

Vanishing

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/2015

Towards the end of the Second World War a young British artist called Kenneth Brill is arrested for painting landscapes near the old village of Heathrow. The authorities suspect his paintings contain coded information about the new military airfield that is to be built there. Brill protests that he is merely recording a landscape that will soon disappear. Under interrogation a more complicated picture emerges as Brill tells the story of his life - of growing up among the market gardens of The Heath, of his life on the London art scene of the 1930s, and his brief spell as a master at a minor public school. But a darker picture also comes to light, of dealings with the prostitutes and pimps of the Soho underworld, of a break-in at a royal residence and of connections with well-known fascist sympathisers at home and abroad. So who is the real Kenneth Brill? The hero of El Alamein who, as a camouflage officer, helped pull off one of the greatest acts of military deception in the history of warfare, or the lover of Italian futurist painter and fascist sympathiser Arturo Somarco? Why was he expelled from the Slade? And what was he doing at Hillmead, the rural community run by Rufus Quayle, friend of Hitler himself? Vanishing sees the world through the eyes of one of the forgotten geniuses of British Art, a man whose artistic vision is so piercing he has trouble seeing what is right in front of him.

The Seacunny

The Seacunny

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/10/2012

Gerard Woodward's poetry has long been admired for its sharp and unflinching eye, its fearless surrealism, its blacker-than-black humour, and its ability to find a little abyss in any detail, no matter how innocuous or domestic. Here, his considerations of trampolines, bird-tables and lightbulbs will leave the reader unable to regard those things in quite the same way again; they will also find science-fiction novels compressed to a few stanzas, strange potted biographies, and lists of edicts from long-dead tyrants. However, The Seacunny finds this inimitable voice extend itself in new and unexpected directions, with the poet turning to the natural world and to human relationships in ways that are affecting as they are surprising. This is a book of astonishing range, and declares a new lyric direction in Woodward's poetry.

Letters from an Unknown Woman

Letters from an Unknown Woman

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2012

With her children evacuated and her husband at the front, Tory Pace is grudgingly sharing the family home with her irascible mother, working at the local gelatin factory-to help the war effort, and generally doing just about as well as could be expected in difficult times. Her quiet life is thrown into turmoil, however, when her prisoner-of-war husband, Donald, makes an outrageous demand for sexual gratification. He wants a dirty letter! Horrified, at first, that Donald is being turned into some sort of monster by the Nazis, Tory's disgust gradually gives way to a sense of marital duty, and taking in the libraries, bookshops, public conveniences, and barbers' shops of South-East London, she begins a quest to master the language of carnal desire-a quest that takes a sudden and unexpected turn into far more dangerous territory. Beginning with an act of unintentional cannibalism, and flirting with a scheme to end world hunger by the use of protein pills, Letters from an Unknown Woman ranges widely across the continent and yet always returns home: to family, to people, to relationships. Woodward offers a prescient examination of the ways in which we both nurture and consume each other in the face of adversity.

Legoland (Fast Fiction)

Legoland (Fast Fiction)

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: eBook Release Date: 28/01/2011

An unexpected call brings an amnesiac and a man he claims to know together to create new memories and friendship.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.

Nourishment

Nourishment

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/09/2010

With her children evacuated and her husband at the front, Tory Pace is grudgingly sharing the family home with her irascible mother. As Tory works at the local gelatine factory - doing her bit for the war effort - her mother has established herself as matriarch and together they are doing as well as could be expected in difficult times. Tory's quiet life is thrown into turmoil, however, when her husband Donald, now a prisoner of war, makes an outrageous demand for sexual gratification. He wants a dirty letter, by return of post! Horrified, at first, that Donald is being turned into some sort of monster by the Nazis, Tory's disgust gradually gives way to a sense of marital duty, and taking in the libraries, bookshops, public conveniences and barbers' shops of South-East London, she begins a quest to master the language of carnal desire: a quest that takes a sudden and unexpected turn into far more dangerous territory. Beginning with an act of unintentional cannibalism, and flirting with a scheme to end world hunger by the use of protein pills, Nourishment ranges widely across the Continent and yet always returns home: to family, to people, to relationships. Woodward offers a prescient examination of the ways in which we both nurture and consume each other in the face of adversity.

Caravan Thieves

Caravan Thieves

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2009

The quotidian and the surreal inhabit the same vivid and perplexing world in this collection of stories. Full of his trademark mixture of humour, pathos, disappointed families and dysfunctional lives, they include an ostracised small-town puppeteer, a commuter who fails to recognise his ex-wife, a bereaved academic working in the college kitchens after his part in a sex scandal and a family who wake up to find their caravan has been mysteriously transported overnight...

A Curious Earth

A Curious Earth

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2008

By the author of Booker-shortlisted I'll Go To Bed At Noon. Aldous Jones is in a bad way: his dilapidated house is empty of family but full of hoarded odds and ends that remind him of his dead wife and son. A preference for whisky over washing rapidly leads to his hospitalisation but it also reawakens his desire for sex and adventure and his lifelong passion for art. What follows is a heartbreakingly funny quest that will lead him first to the National Gallery, where he is bewitched by a Rembrandt painting, and then to Ostend, to stay with his boemian son and a ridiculous Dutch sexologist and then through a series of somewhat misguided relationships with sympathetic women to an ending of devatating poignancy...

We Were Pedestrians

We Were Pedestrians

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2005

In a return to poetry after his two highly acclaimed novels, August and I'll Go To Bed At Noon, Gerard Woodward has written a wonderfully inventive, witty and moving collection of poetry about the way we try to domesticate the world. In poems full of rooms and houses, where wily nature eludes the instinct to tame, Woodward combines the observing eye of an anthropologist with an exuberant, daring and endlessly playful imagination. There are houses of memory and houses of the future, houses that stand empty and houses crammed with the accumulations of life. From the clothes that house our bodies to the atmosphere that clothes our universe, from the flush of a toilet to the colonisation of Mars, Woodward is always looking at juxtapositions of the unruly and the controlled. Perhaps it is no accident that several of the poems are about coastal places or climate change. The ceaseless erosion of nature is an image of the impossibility of capture, with language the last barrier against decay and disappearance. In 'Norfolk', the pebbles on the beach, the pennies in a slot machine and his young son's wobbly tooth concatenate with enormous pathos as we watch the boy's realisation that life's events do not match his desire. The intimacy and emotion of this and other poems is a new development in Woodward's poetry and makes We Were Pedestrians his finest collection yet.

August

August

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2002

Ever since Aldous Jones careened over the handlebars of his bicycle in 1955 and landed next to Farmer Evans's first field, it has become a tradition for him to take his family camping in Wales. Aldous has started to feel that a certain symbiosis has developed between their North London home and the Welsh village that they only ever see in August. As the years pass, Aldous's family idyll starts to disintegrate and the farm becomes a place drenched in memory.

Island To Island

Island To Island

Author: Gerard Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/1999

In Island to Island, his third collection of poetry for Chatto, Gerard Woodward ventures into more hostile, less familiar territory. An Arabian desert, the moon, thinly-populated archipelagos are all visited in what emerges as an investigation into the nature of social space. A giraffe trapper finds that a successful trap must closely resemble a giraffe's own home; the 'suburban glass' of starter-home conservatories glazes and crysallises the lives of newly-weds. With his characteristic exuberance and ability to stand the world on its head, Woodward combines tichly imagined poems about half-invented lands with poetry that transforms the ordinary into the fantastical, where baths become oceans and ceilings lunar landscapes. Nor is the body exempt from this exploration of borders and limits. In one poem, two 'gurning' contestants find that they've overstepped some boundary of humanness and in 'The Madness of Heracles', a long retelling of the myth of the twelve labours, human strength is put to the test in a poem which evolves into a rhapsody of love, loss, toil and redemption.

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