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River of Ink by Paul M. M. Cooper
  

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All Asanka knows is poetry. From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka, he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease: composing romantic verses for love-struck courtiers, enjoying the confidence of his king and covertly teaching Sarasi, a beautiful and beguiling palace maid, the secrets of his art. But when Kalinga Magha, a ruthless prince with a formidable army, arrives upon Lanka's shores, Asanka's world is changed beyond imagining.

Synopsis

River of Ink by Paul M. M. Cooper

From his humble village beginnings, Asanka has risen to the prestigious position of court poet in the great island kingdom of Lanka, delighting in a life of ease. But when the ruthless Kalinga Magha violently usurps the throne, Asanka's world is changed beyond imagination. To his horror, the king tasks him with the translation of an epic poem designed to civilise his subjects and snuff out the fires of rebellion...Asanka has always believed that poetry makes nothing happen, but as lines on the page become cries in the street he learns that true power lies not at the point of a sword, but in the tip of a pen.

Reviews

'An extraordinary debut ... Paul M.M. Cooper is writer of real talent ... River of Ink is what historical fiction should be: immersive, illuminating and captivating' The Times

'Potent, beautiful and wholly absorbing, Cooper's portrait of a reluctant revolutionary had me in thrall from its first chapter. A wonderful, memorable debut' Madeline Miller, author of the Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles

'Cooper endows his work with persuasive historical accuracy and detail, but the juice of his own work is the intensely poetic quality of his prose ... There is enough astonishing quality in this first novel for us to hope that Cooper will soon produce another' Independent

'It isn't easy to write about the past with both a hesitant watchfulness and a calm assurance, to make it vivid and strange and yet also, in a fundamental way, ours, but that's exactly what Paul Cooper has achieved - with considerable aplomb - in River of Ink' Amit Chaudhuri, author of Odysseus Abroad

'Masterly ... A powerful and timely fable about freedom, resistance and the secret might of the weak' Financial Times

'A striking first novel from an author with a rare skill for deploying heavy research with a light touch, for revelling in the seductive possibilities of style without losing sight of narrative drive, and for making profound points while also delivering first-rate entertainment. Paul M.M Cooper's own pen is certainly a formidable weapon, and it will be exciting to see him wield it again in years to come Asian Review In his first novel, Cooper vividly reconstructs a long-buried society and, creates in Asanka - a coward reluctantly forced into acts of courage - a likeable, multifaceted narrator' Sunday Times

'A highly accomplished debut: Cooper's writing glides from moments of grace and beauty to pure horror in this enthralling novel' Mahesh Rao, author of The Smoke is Rising

About the Author

Paul Cooper was born in south London and grew up in Cardiff, Wales. He was educated at the University of Warwick and UEA, and after graduating he left for Sri Lanka to work as an English teacher, where he took time to explore the ruins both ancient and modern. He has written for magazines, websites and also worked as an archivist, editor and journalist. paulmmcooper.com @PaulMMCooper

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Book Info

Publication date

26th January 2017

Author

Paul M. M. Cooper

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Publisher

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781408862292

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