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Gwendoline Riley - Author

About the Author

GWENDOLINE RILEY was born in London in 1979. She is the author of the novels Cold Water, Sick Notes, Joshua Spassky and Opposed Positions. Her writing has won a Betty Trask Award and a Somerset Maugham Award, and has been shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.

Featured books by Gwendoline Riley

First Love

First Love

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2017

Neve is a writer in her mid-30s married to an older man, Edwyn. For now they are in a place of relative peace, but their past battles have left scars. As Neve recalls the decisions that led her to this marriage, she tells of other loves and other debts, from her bullying father and her self-involved mother to a musician who played her and a series of lonely flights from place to place.

Other books by Gwendoline Riley

First Love

First Love

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2017

'A singular, devastating journey into the ungovernable reaches of the heart' Observer SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017 Neve is a writer in her mid-30s married to an older man, Edwyn. For now they are in a place of relative peace, but their past battles have left scars. As Neve recalls the decisions that led her to this marriage, she tells of other loves and other debts, from her bullying father and her self-involved mother to a musician who played her and a series of lonely flights from place to place. Drawing the reader into the battleground of her relationship, Neve spins a story of helplessness and hostility, an ongoing conflict in which both husband and wife have played a part. But is this, nonetheless, also a story of love?

First Love

First Love

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2017

Neve is a writer in her mid-30s married to an older man, Edwyn. For now they are in a place of relative peace, but their past battles have left scars. As Neve recalls the decisions that led her to this marriage, she tells of other loves and other debts, from her bullying father and her self-involved mother to a musician who played her and a series of lonely flights from place to place.

First Love

First Love

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: eBook Release Date: 02/02/2017

'A singular, devastating journey into the ungovernable reaches of the heart' ObserverSHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017Neve is a writer in her mid-30s married to an older man, Edwyn. For now they are in a place of relative peace, but their past battles have left scars. As Neve recalls the decisions that led her to this marriage, she tells of other loves and other debts, from her bullying father and her self-involved mother to a musician who played her and a series of lonely flights from place to place. Drawing the reader into the battleground of her relationship, Neve spins a story of helplessness and hostility, an ongoing conflict in which both husband and wife have played a part. But is this, nonetheless, also a story of love?

Opposed Positions

Opposed Positions

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2014

At thirty, Aislinn Kelly is an occasional novelist with a near-morbid attunement to the motives of those around her. Isolated, restless and stuck, she decamps to America - a default recourse - this time to an attic room in Indianapolis, to attempt once again the definitive act of self-salvage. There are sharp memories to contend with as the summer heats up, and not least regarding her family history, now revealed as so botched and pitiful it seems it might yet cancel her out. She's spent years evading the attentions of her unstable, bullying father, only to find her mother now cowering in a second rancid marriage. There are also friendships lost or ailing: with bibulous playwright Karl, sly poet Erwin, depressed bookshop-wallah Bronagh, and Aislinn's best friend Cathy, who has recently found God... Finally her thoughts turn to her last encounter with Jim Schmidt, a man she's loved for ten years, hasn't seen for five, yet still has to consider her opposite number in life. Opposed Positions is a startlingly frank novel about the human predicament, about love and its substitutes, disgraceful or otherwise. Some of these people want to be free - of themselves, of each other - and some have darker imperatives. Wry, shocking, perfectly observed and utterly heart-breaking, the novel moves towards its troubling conclusion: a painful appreciation of what it is we've come from, and what we might be heading for.

Joshua Spassky

Joshua Spassky

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2008

Joshua and Natalie share a vexed five-year history of sporadic encounters, explosive drunkenness and failed intercourse, spliced with sad intimations of true love. Natalie is attempting to start a new life in Manchester, but when Joshua calls unexpectedly and asks her to meet him in America she knows she has no choice but to go. Whilst wandering around the Blue Ridge Mountains or lying together for days in their cheap hotel room, they talk about their lives - about his ex-wife, and her dead family - and come to a surprising understanding. Shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize.

Cold Water

Cold Water

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2003

Carmel McKisco is wry, volatile and full of longing: a twenty-year-old girl working nights in a Manchester dive bar. Cut off from her family, and from Tony, her carefree ex, she forges strange alliances with her customers, and daydreams, half-heartedly, about escaping to Cornwall. Cold Water is a poignant picaresque of barmaids and barflies; eccentric individuals all somehow tethered to their past - not least Carmel herself, who is nurturing mordant fixations on both her lost love, Tony, and her washed-up adolescent hero: a singer from Macclesfield. As she spins out the days and nights of an unrelentingly rainy winter she finds herself compelled to confront her romantic preoccupations, for better or worse.

Cold Water

Cold Water

Author: Gwendoline Riley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2002

Carmel McKisco is wry, volatile and full of longing: a twenty-year-old girl working nights in a Manchester dive bar. Cut off from her family, and from Tony, her carefree ex, she forges strange alliances with her customers, and daydreams, half-heartedly, about escaping to Cornwall, her own Elysian Fields. Cold Water is a poignant picaresque of barmaids and barflies; eccentric individuals all somehow tethered to their past - not least Carmel herself, who is nurturing mordant fixations on both her lost love, Tony, and her washed-up adolescent hero: a singer from Macclesfield. As she spins out the days and nights of an unrelentingly rainy winter she finds herself compelled to confront her romantic preoccupations, for better or worse. Confident. fresh, and completely original, Cold Water has a voice to match - whether sharp or sentimental, tender or sassy, elegant or dryly sardonic. Peopled with memorable characters and imbued with a subtle sense of longing and raw loneliness beneath the banter and whimsy, this thrilling debut is as cool and assured as Carmel herself - a funny, memorable and strangely affecting look at the way people drift into and out of each other's lives, and how they find their place in the world.

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