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Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2014.
Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2014.
Everyone knows the date of the Battle of Hastings. Far fewer people know what happened next...Set in the three years after the Norman invasion, The Wake tells the story of a fractured band of guerilla fighters who take up arms against the invaders. Carefully hung on the known historical facts about the almost forgotten war of resistance that spread across England in the decade after 1066, it is a story of the brutal shattering of lives, a tale of lost gods and haunted visions, narrated by a man of the Lincolnshire fens bearing witness to the end of his world. Written in what the author describes as 'a shadow tongue' - a version of Old English updated so as to be understandable for the modern reader - The Wake renders the inner life of an Anglo-Saxon man with an accuracy and immediacy rare in historical fiction. To enter Buccmaster's world is to feel powerfully the sheer strangeness of the past.
'A literary triumph'
'A resonant, eloquent ballad of English identity, pride and fierce independence. It is a thrilling story. Read it out loud. It is like nothing else.'
'Reading Kingsnorth's book is to be immersed in the past and in a story in a way that I haven't really felt since childhood. It's time travel between hard covers, and the most glorious experience I've had with a book in years'
Lucy Mangan, the Guardian
'It takes time and concentration, but it is effort repaid because, like William Golding's The Inheritors (1955), it forces you into another, more ancient way of seeing things.'
The Sunday Times
'Haunting - more truly relevant to where we are now than many of the other books on the Man Booker longlist.'
'Strange and extraordinary - this unusual novel has power. It lingers in the imagination.'
'The message of this extraordinary novel is as honest and timely as it is discomforting: being waecend to the grim fate of your society doesn't mean you can do anything to prevent it happening.'
Times Literary Supplement
'In its refusal to yield easy answers, Kingsnorth's extraordinary, unsettling tale of the 11th Century makes not only a surprisingly satisfying novel, but a deeply modern one, too.'
Melissa Harrison, Caught By The River
'An astonishing feat of imagination'
'An extraordinary, original and spellbinding book'
Publication date: 30/04/2015
Publisher: Unbound an imprint of Cornerstone
Publication date: 03/04/2014
|Publication date:||3rd April 2014|
Paul Kingsnorth is a writer, poet and ecological activist. In 2009, he co- founded the Dark Mountain Project, an international network of writers, artists and thinkers in search of new stories for rapidly-changing times. His book Real England was widely praised as a crucially important study of modern England and was compared to Cobbett, Priestley and Orwell. The Wake is his first novel. He lives in Ulverston, CumbriaMore About Paul Kingsnorth