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The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth

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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006.

If you like Barry Unsworth you might also like to read books by Iain Pears, Peter Ackroyd and Keri Hulme.


The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth

Thurstan, a young Norman and would-be Knight at the Court of King Roger in Palermo, has been in love since boyhood with Lady Alicia, now returned a widow from the Holy Land. At the same time, he is enthralled by the earthy sensuality of the dancer, Nesrin, whose troupe he brings to Court to dance for the King. In a compelling tale of love, passion, intrigue and treachery, Thurstan finds himself caught in a tangle of plots, counter-plots and deceptions that threaten to destroy him.

Set in twelfth-century Sicily against the backdrop of the Crusades, Barry Unsworthâs brilliant new novel tells the story of how the war between Islam and Christendom impinges on both Thurstanâs mind and his heart. His journey towards freedom and love, driven along by the forces of history in the making, is both moving and unforgettable.

About the Author

Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth was born in 1930 in a mining village in Durham, and he attended Stockton-on-Tees Grammar School and Manchester University. He has spent a number of years in the Eastern Mediterranean area and has taught English in Athens and Istanbul. He now lives in Italy. His first novel, The Partnership, was published in 1966. This was followed by The Greeks Have a Word for It (1967); The Hide (1970); Mooncranker's Gift, which received the Heinemann Award for 1973; Pascali's Island, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1980 and has been filmed; Stone Virgin (1985); Sugar and Rum (1990); The Rage of the Vulture (1991); Sacred Hunger, which was joint winner of the 1992 Booker Prize; Morality Play, which was shortlisted for the 1995 Booker Prize; After Hannibal, Losing Nelson and The Songs of the Kings.

Barry Unsworth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th September 2006


Barry Unsworth

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Penguin Books Ltd




Literary Fiction
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