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Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
  

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From an astonishing new voice, this debut charts the life of Roscoe T Martin, first as a farm owner with a fractured family, then as prison inmate... Placing itself perfectly alongside acclaimed work by Philipp Meyer, Jane Smiley and JM Coetzee.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2016.

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Synopsis

Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves

Roscoe has set his sights on a new type of power spreading at the start of the 20th century: electricity. It becomes his training, his life's work. But when his wife Marie inherits her father's failing farm, Roscoe has to give it up, with great cost to his pride and sense of self, his marriage and his family. Realising that he might lose them all, he uses his skills as an electrician to siphon energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness on a farm recently falling to ruin. Even the love of Marie and their son seems back within Roscoe's grasp. Then everything changes. A young man is electrocuted on their land. Roscoe is arrested for manslaughter and - no longer an electrician or even a farmer - he must now carve out a place in a violent new world.

Reviews

'A striking debut about love and redemption, the heavy burdens of family and guilt and learning how to escape them. Powerfully told and lyrically written, there is not a false note in this book. Reeves is a major new talent.' -- Philipp Meyer, author of The Son

'Work Like Any Other is an exceptional novel told in clear, direct, and starkly beautiful language. Virginia Reeves has a gift for bringing to life all the tensions that emerge wherever people, place, and progress collide. I absolutely loved it.' -- Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

'How brilliantly Virginia Reeves brings to life her protagonist, Roscoe T Martin, with his hatred of farming, his love of electricity and his long struggle to make amends to himself, his family and his friends. Work Like Any Other is a novel of fierce beauty and hard-won redemption. A wonderful debut.' -- Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

'The world of this exquisite novel - 1920s Alabama - hasn't let go of me since I finished it. It's gorgeous, painful, original, and so true in all its details. Reeves writes with incredibly intelligent compassion, and in Roscoe Martin has created an extraordinary man who more than earns his place among the complicated population of the literary South. Thick with dread and beauty, this is a stunning chronicle of a time, a place, and a mind.' -- Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest

About the Author

Virginia Reeves is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin. Her fiction has appeared in The Common and The Baltimore Review and has been shortlisted for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest and the Alexander Patterson Cappon Fiction Award. Virginia has spent the majority of her life in Montana, but currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two daughters.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th April 2017

Author

Virginia Reeves

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Publisher

Scribner UK an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd

Format

Paperback
272 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781471152238

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