So Many Ways to Begin

by Jon McGregor

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006.

So Many Ways to Begin Synopsis

So Many Ways To Begin  is about mothers, childhood, secrets, memories, migration and the many different ways there are of telling or not telling a story which needs to be told. But at its heart, Jon McGregor's new novel is the story of a marriage; a study of the separate and shared lives of David Carter and Eleanor Campbell.
 

David is a museum curator whose assumptions about his own history are suddenly shattered and whose search for identity forms the narrative spine of the book. Eleanor escapes from an Aberdeen shipbuilding family and the darkly scornful influence of her mother into a new life for which she slowly loses her nerve. How do these two people connect, learn about each other, make sense of the stories of their lives? How do they cope with the failures and disappointments, the successes, of their marriage?
 

The narrative, emerging through the photos, letters, and artifacts which form David's personal archive, ranges across wartime London, post-war Coventry and Aberdeen, rural Ireland; driven forward by a yearning search for meaning and coherence and truth. But the story always comes back to David and Eleanor, and to their quiet attempts to hold together something which they began before they could even understand what it was. So Many Ways To Begin  is a story about the possibilities of love.

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So Many Ways to Begin Press Reviews

‘So Many Ways to Begin is an homage to ordinary people and ordinary things, to the parts of our lives that often go unspoken. Fittingly, the prose has a rhythmic clarity … moving and honest novel’  - Tom Gatti, The Times

“…the writing is powerfully spare and unadorned… So Many Ways to Begin is also an immensely sympathetic portrait of a marriage which survives through a kind of low-key, dogged devotion.”  - Time Out London

“His work has been compared to Philip Larkin in the way that it draws on a certain monochrome Englishness but the colour and poetry of his writing brings a luminous depth to his subject.”  - Metro

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780747579465
Publication date: 07/08/2006
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780747579465
Publication date: 7th August 2006
Author: Jon McGregor
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Format: Hardback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories:

About Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor is the author of four novels and a story collection. He is the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize, Betty Trask Prize, and Somerset Maugham Award, and has twice been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page , a literary journal in letters. He was born in Bermuda in 1976, grew up in Norfolk, and now lives in Nottingham. Photograph © Dan Sinclair

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