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Louise Dean's first novel, BECOMING STRANGERS, was longlisted for the Man-Booker Prize and won the Betty Trask prize. She lives in France with her husband and three children.
Ken is so obsessed with death that he's planning his own funeral - right down to the last morbid detail. He will die in the bosom of his family. There's just one problem. His family want nothing to do with him. His upwardly mobile son Nick hasn't seen him in fifteen years - and doesn't want to be reminded of the miserable old man he escaped. But Ken is nothing if not dogged. Whether he likes it or not, Ken's going to remind him of exactly what Nick has been missing ...And who he really is.
Louise Dean is without doubt a significant new voice in British fiction. Her portrayal of 1979 Ireland at a time when two sides were at loggerheads is immensely powerful. As her well drawn characters from both sides of the divide come together they reveal the almost impossible situation in which they live. Both explosive and controversial the novel portrays one of the blackest moments of British History without being sensationalist.
It is December 1979. Kathleen's son Sean has been convicted of a crime on behalf of the IRA and sent to Long Kesh prison - newly renamed the Maze. John Dunn has just taken up a job as a prison guard after leaving the army. Both will be shocked at what they find. Both will try to do the right thing, and fail. Neither will ever be the same again. Louise Dean's sensational new novel deals with one of the most explosive and morally complex incidents in recent British history. THIS HUMAN SEASON is a powerful, confronting, humane, and blackly funny examination of the lives of ordinary people when placed in the vice of history.
Get a preview of one of the â€˜bookies favouritesâ€™ for this yearâ€™s Man Booker Prize.
Richard's life is unravelling: his beautiful wife, Valerie, is having an affair, his son Maxence may (or may not) be mentally disturbed, and the idyllic life he'd hoped for when they moved to Provence has become more nightmare than paradise. Suddenly, a routine trip to Africa to sell pharmaceuticals is more than he can handle and his life starts to implode as he realizes that the idea of a life full of that love he has cherished is a mere illusion. For Richard and Valerie's neighbour Rachel, a trip to Africa also leads to feelings of confusion and doubt. Now Rachel, and her husband Jeff, as well as Richard and Valerie, are left groping for the things that once defined them. In this bold and tender story, both families find themselves desperately seeking the answer to one question: just what is the idea of love - and can it save them? But for the children in the story, the awkward unsettling Maxence and angelic little Maud, the idea of love is much simpler...