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Helen Dunmore - Author

About the Author

Helen Dunmore was the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D H Lawrence’s expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as ‘a world-class novel’ and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages and she was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She died in June 2017.

Author photo © Caroline Forbes

Featured books by Helen Dunmore

Inside the Wave

Inside the Wave

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/04/2017

To be alive is to be inside the wave, always travelling until it breaks and is gone. These poems are concerned with the borderline between the living and the dead - the underworld and the human living world - and the exquisitely intense being of both. They possess a spare, eloquent lyricism as they explore the bliss and anguish of the voyage. Inside the Wave is Helen Dunmore's first new poetry book since The Malarkey (2012), whose title-poem won the National Poetry Competition. Her other books include Glad of These Times (2007), and Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), a comprehensive selection drawing on seven previous collections. Her final poem, 'Hold out your arms', written shortly before her death and not included in the first printing of Inside the Wave, has now been added to the reprint.

Other books by Helen Dunmore

Stormswept

Stormswept

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/10/2018

An atmospheric and beautifully written adventure, from the award-winning author of the Ingo series. Morveren lives with her parents and twin sister Jenna on an island off the coast of Cornwall. As Morveren and Jenna's relationship shifts and changes, like driftwood on the tide, Morveren finds a beautiful teenage boy in a rock pool after a storm. Going to his rescue, she is shocked to see that he is not human but a Mer boy. With Jenna refusing to face the truth, Morveren finds herself alone at the worst possible time. Because when the worlds of Air and Mer meet, the consequences can be terrible...

The Crossing of Ingo

The Crossing of Ingo

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/10/2018

Stunning reissue in a beautiful new cover-look of this fourth novel in the critically acclaimed Ingo Chronicles. Sapphire, Conor and their Mer friends Faro and Elvira are ready to make the Crossing of Ingo - a long and dangerous journey that only the strongest young Mer are called upon to make. No human being has ever attempted this thrilling voyage to the bottom of the world. Ervys, his followers and new recruits, the sharks, are determined that Sapphire and Conor must be stopped - dead or alive...

The Tide Knot

The Tide Knot

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2018

Stunning reissue in a beautiful new cover-look of this second novel in the critically acclaimed Ingo Chronicles. I can't go back in the house. I'm restless, prickling all over. The wind hits me like slaps from huge invisible hands. But it's not the wind that worries me. It's something else, beyond the storm... Sapphire and Conor can't forget their adventures in Ingo, the mysterious world beneath the sea. They long to see their Mer friends Faro and Elvira, and swim with the dolphins once more. But a crisis is brewing far below the ocean's surface, where the wisest of the Mer guards the Tide Knot. And soon both Sapphire and Conor will be drawn into Ingo's troubled waters...

Girl, Balancing & Other Stories

Girl, Balancing & Other Stories

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

Haunting, uplifting, beautiful: the final work from Helen Dunmore Helen Dunmore passed away in June 2017, leaving behind this remarkable collection of short stories. With her trademark imagination and gift for making history human, she explores the fragile ties between passion, love, family, friendship and grief, often through people facing turning points in their lives: A girl alone, stretching her meagre budget to feed herself, becomes aware that the young man who has come to see her may not be as friendly as he seems. Two women from very different backgrounds enjoy an unusual night out, finding solace in laughter and an unexpected friendship. A young man picks up his infant son and goes outside into a starlit night as he makes a decision that will inform the rest of his life. A woman imprisoned for her religion examines her faith in a seemingly literal and quietly original way. This brilliant collection of Helen Dunmore's short fiction, replete with her penetrating insight into the human condition, is certain to delight and move all her readers.

Girl, Balancing & Other Stories

Girl, Balancing & Other Stories

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: eBook Release Date: 28/06/2018

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Girl, Balancing & Other Stories, by Helen Dunmore, read by Emilia Fox, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Juliet Stevenson.Haunting, uplifting, beautiful: the final work from Helen DunmoreHelen Dunmore passed away in June 2017, leaving behind this remarkable collection of short stories. With her trademark imagination and gift for making history human, she explores the fragile ties between passion, love, family, friendship and grief, often through people facing turning points in their lives:A girl alone, stretching her meagre budget to feed herself, becomes aware that the young man who has come to see her may not be as friendly as he seems.Two women from very different backgrounds enjoy an unusual night out, finding solace in laughter and an unexpected friendship.A young man picks up his infant son and goes outside into a starlit night as he makes a decision that will inform the rest of his life.A woman imprisoned for her religion examines her faith in a seemingly literal and quietly original way. This brilliant collection of Helen Dunmore's short fiction, replete with her penetrating insight into the human condition, is certain to delight and move all her listeners.

Inside the Wave

Inside the Wave

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/04/2017

To be alive is to be inside the wave, always travelling until it breaks and is gone. These poems are concerned with the borderline between the living and the dead - the underworld and the human living world - and the exquisitely intense being of both. They possess a spare, eloquent lyricism as they explore the bliss and anguish of the voyage. Inside the Wave is Helen Dunmore's first new poetry book since The Malarkey (2012), whose title-poem won the National Poetry Competition. Her other books include Glad of These Times (2007), and Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), a comprehensive selection drawing on seven previous collections. Her final poem, 'Hold out your arms', written shortly before her death and not included in the first printing of Inside the Wave, has now been added to the reprint.

The Little Sea Dragon's Wild Adventure

The Little Sea Dragon's Wild Adventure

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2017

Birdcage Walk

Birdcage Walk

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2017

***Nominated for the 2018 Independent Booksellers Week Award*** It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Diner believes that Lizzie's independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants. In a tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror, Diner's passion for Lizzie darkens until she finds herself dangerously alone.

Exposure

Exposure

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2016

'A deceptively simple masterpiece' Independent on Sunday 'Will haunt you for months, if not years' Guardian 'Outstanding ... if you only buy one book, make it this one' Good Housekeeping London, November, 1960: the Cold War is at its height. Spy fever fills the newspapers, and the political establishment knows how and where to bury its secrets. When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Simon Callington is accused of passing information to the Soviets, and arrested. His wife, Lily, suspects that his imprisonment is part of a cover-up, and that more powerful men than Simon will do anything to prevent their own downfall. She knows that she too is in danger, and must fight to protect her children. But what she does not realise is that Simon has hidden vital truths about his past, and may be found guilty of another crime that carries with it an even greater penalty.

Grace Poole Her Testimony: A Short Story from the collection, Reader, I Married Him

Grace Poole Her Testimony: A Short Story from the collection, Reader, I Married Him

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: eBook Release Date: 21/04/2016

A short story by Helen Dunmore from the collection Reader, I Married Him: Stories inspired by Jane Eyre.In 'Grace Poole Her Testimony', Grace Poole defends Bertha Mason and calls the general opinion of Jane Eyre into question.Edited by Tracy Chevalier, the full collection, Reader, I Married Him, brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Bronte's game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.

Ingo

Ingo

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: eBook Release Date: 28/05/2015

A spellbinding magical adventure. Master storyteller Helen Dunmore writes the story of Sapphire and her brother Conor, and their discovery of INGO, a powerful and exciting world under the sea. You'll find the mermaid of Zennor inside Zennor church. She fell in love with a human, but she was a Mer creature and so she couldn't come to live with him up in the dry air. She swam up the stream to hear him sing, then one day he swam down it and was never seen again. He became one of the Mer people... Sapphire's father told her that story when she was little. When he is lost at sea she can't help but think of that old myth; she's convinced he's still alive. The following summer her brother Conor keeps disappearing for hours on end. She goes to the cove to find him, but instead meets Faro, an enigmatic and intriguing Merman. He takes her to Ingo and introduces her to a world she never knew existed. She must let go of all her Air thoughts and embrace the sea and all things Mer. After her first visit she is entranced - merely the sound of running water makes her yearn to be in Ingo once more. Ingo blood runs strongly in Sapphy and Conor fears she will leave the Air world for good. He pleads with her to ignore her craving for the sea and stay safely in their cottage up on the cliff. But not only is Sapphy intoxicated by the Mer world, she longs to see her father once more. And she's sure she can hear him singing across the water... "e;I wish I was away in IngoFar across the briny sea..."e;

The Lie

The Lie

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/08/2014

The Lie The enthralling Richard and Judy Book Club favourite

The Lie The enthralling Richard and Judy Book Club favourite

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/05/2014

Nominated for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historial Fiction, and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the UK's most acclaimed storytellers. Cornwall, 1920, early spring. A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family. Behind him lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life. Daniel has survived, but the horror and passion of the past seem more real than the quiet fields around him. He is about to step into the unknown. But will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?

Land Lubbers Lying Down Below

Land Lubbers Lying Down Below

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: eBook Release Date: 01/12/2012

'Tonight it is the concert. Two Prodigies of Nature are coming to play in my lady's ball-room. As soon as the concert begins I understand why the whole world comes to stare and listen.'Scipio is eleven years old and a lady's page. He plays the harpsichord, speaks French and German, and sings in Italian. But what was appealing and remarkable in a small child is no longer so in a 'hobbledehoy'. And after he meets the two child prodigies, Wolfi and Nannerl, at a concert, Scipio's fate will change forever.

The Greatcoat

The Greatcoat

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

In the winter of 1952, Isabel Carey moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her husband Philip, a GP. With Philip spending long hours on call, Isabel finds herself isolated and lonely as she strives to adjust to the realities of married life. Woken by intense cold one night, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat hidden in the back of a cupboard. Sleeping under it for warmth, she starts to dream. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled by a knock at her window. Outside is a young RAF pilot, waiting to come in. His name is Alec, and his powerful presence both disturbs and excites her. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin an intense affair. But nothing has prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on hers ...

Ingo

Ingo

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Stunning reissue, in beautiful new cover-look, of this magical and award-winning novel - the first of the spellbinding Ingo Chronicles... Once there was a man who fell in love with a mermaid. He swam down into the sea to be with her, and was never seen again... Sapphire's father told her that story when she was little. When he is lost at sea she can't help but think of that old myth: she's convinced he's still alive. Then, the following summer, Sapphy meets Faro, an enigmatic and intriguing Mer boy. Diving down into Ingo, she discovers a world she never knew existed, where she must let go of all her Air thoughts and embrace the sea... But not only is Sapphy intoxicated by the Mer world, she longs to see her father once more. And she's sure she can hear him singing across the water: I wish I was away in Ingo Far across the briny sea...

The Deep

The Deep

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Stunning reissue in a beautiful new cover-look of this third novel in the critically acclaimed Ingo Chronicles. A devastating flood has torn through the worlds of Air and Ingo, and now, deep in the ocean, a monster is stirring. Mer legend says that only those with dual blood - half Mer, half human - can overcome the Kraken. Sapphy must return to the Deep, with the help of her friend the whale, and face this terrifying creature - and her brother Conor and Mer friend Faro will not let her go alone...

Malarkey

Malarkey

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2012

The malarkey is over in the back of the car - As soon as you turn your back, time slips. The humdrum present has become the precious, irrecoverable past. The ways in which the present longs for the past, questions it, tries to get in touch with it and stretches the power of memory to its limits, are central to this new collection by Helen Dunmore. Joseph Severn recalls Keats hurling a bad dinner out onto the steps of the Piazza di Spagna; the glamour of John Donne's portrait 'taken in shadows' seduces a new generation; the dead assert their right to walk through the imaginations of the living - These are poems and stories of loss and extraordinary rediscovery. The Malarkey is Helen Dunmore's first poetry book since Glad of These Times (2007) and Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), a comprehensive selection drawing on seven previous collections. It brings together poems of great lyricism, feeling and artistry.

The Ferry Birds

The Ferry Birds

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2012

Protection

Protection

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: eBook Release Date: 01/12/2011

Penguin Specials are designed to fill a gap. Written to be read over a long commute or a short journey, they are original and exclusively in digital form. This is a chilling tale by Helen Dunmore.'It was nothing, she tells herself, but her body knows better.'Florence lives in the country, lapped by miles and miles of darkness. She feels safe there - until a noise wakes her in the middle of the night. Protection is a short story by bestselling author Helen Dunmore that will cause your skin to prickle and make you ask yourself how far you would go to protect your family.

Counting the Stars

Counting the Stars

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/02/2009

Counting the Stars is a captivating tale of forbidden love and bestselling author Helen Dunmore's tenth novel. In the heat of Rome's long summer, the poet Catullus and his older married lover, Clodia Metelli, meet in secret. Living at the heart of sophisticated, brittle and brutal Roman society at the time of Pompey, Crassus and Julius Caesar, Catullus is obsessed with Clodia, the Lesbia of his most passionate poems. He is jealous of her husband, of her maid, even of her pet sparrow. And Clodia? Catullus is 'her dear poet', but possibly not her only interest . . . Their Rome is a city of extremes. Tenants are packed into ramshackle apartment blocks while palatial villas house the magnificence of the families who control Rome. Armed street gangs clash in struggles for political power. Slaves are the eyes and ears of everything that goes on, while civilization and violence are equals, murder is the easy option and poison the weapon of choice. Catallus' relationship with Clodia is one of the most intense, passionate, tormented and candid in history. In love and in hate, their story exposes the beauty and terrors of Roman life in the late Republic. 'She reels you in . . . Dunmore has a gift for turning every genre she touches to gold' Telegraph `Dunmore at her most innovative and daring . . . a powerful and convincing study of fame and notoriety . . . captivating and compelling' Time Out 'Dunmore's strengths as a novelist have always included her skill in sensuous description and her ability to convey the promises and the dangers of erotic love. The Rome she has so vividly realised in Counting the Stars provides a new stage on which to display those strengths' Sunday Times Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve novels: Zennor in Darkness, which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphans; Counting the Stars; The Betrayal, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010, and The Greatcoat. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.

Burning Bright

Burning Bright

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/03/2008

**FROM THE AUTHOR OF INSIDE THE WAVE, THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017** When Nadine runs away to London, innocence and corruption collide . . . Nadine, a sixteen-year-old runaway new to London, is set up in a decaying Georgian house by her Finnish lover, Kai. Slowly, she begins to suspect that Kai's plans for her have little to do with love. 'Be Careful,' warns Enid, the elderly sitting tenant in the house, who knows all about survival and secrets. And when Nadine discovers Kai's true intentions, Enid's warning takes on a terrible and prophetic quality. Burning Bright is bestselling author Helen Dunmore's second novel. 'A story of terrible innocence' Independent on Sunday 'The denouement is mesmerizing. One goes on addressing the problems of evil which Dunmore raises, long after one has finished her electrifying book' Sunday Times 'Outstanding. The plot unfolds with both tension and inevitability as Dunmore plays off past against present, rubs together contemporary themes of urban corruption with far-off memories of taboo passion' Sunday Telegraph Helen Dunmore has published eleven novels with Penguin: Zennor in Darkness , which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead ; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphan; Counting the Stars and The Betrayal, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.

With Your Crooked Heart

With Your Crooked Heart

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/03/2008

With Your Crooked Heart is bestselling author Helen Dunmore's sixth novel. Louise married Paul, brother to Johnnie . . . Yet she doesn't get one man with this union - she gets two. Born twelve years apart in a one-bedroom flat in Barking, Paul and Johnnie are close: they're good at making money and make taking power look easy. But while Paul deals on contaminated land, Johnnie is adept at dealing in crime. And when Louise's relationship with the brothers is further complicated by the birth of her daughter, Anna, it seems nothing can ever break this triangle. Until Johnnie's self-destructive streak begins to threaten them all . . . 'Rich, tense, tragic and almost unbearable reading' The Times 'Open a page at random and you're almost bound to find something gorgeous' Independent 'One of this country's most accomplished literary talents' Independent on Sunday Helen Dunmore has published eleven novels with Penguin: Zennor in Darkness, which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphan; Counting the Stars and The Betrayal, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.

Talking to the Dead

Talking to the Dead

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/10/2007

Talking to the Dead is bestselling author Helen Dunmore's fourth novel. There's nothing closer than sisters . . . Unloved by their distant mother, Isabel and Nina cemented their bond in childhood when tragedy struck the family. Many yeas later, with the difficult birth of Isabel's first child, it is Nina who comes to stay and help out her older sister. But Nina has other, important reasons for being under her sister's roof - not least of these is Isabel's husband, Richard. The tragedy that drew two sisters together so many years ago still has the power to wrench them apart . . . 'A writer of quiet deadly power . . . it takes two paragraphs to hook you. Don't resist' Time Out 'Dunmore's capacity for hauntingly psychological storytelling is on brilliant display' Sunday Times 'Flies off the page, startling the reader with its brilliance' Financial Times Helen Dunmore has published eleven novels with Penguin: Zennor in Darkness , which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphan; Counting the Stars and The Betrayal, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.

Amina's Blanket

Amina's Blanket

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/08/2002

Out of the Blue Poems 1975-2001

Out of the Blue Poems 1975-2001

Author: Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/10/2001

Presents a comprehensive selection from the poet's seven previous books of poetry.

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