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What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

What Was Lost

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Winner of the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2007.

Costa Book Awards 2007 Judges' comment:
"Hugely compelling and inventive, it pulls the rug from under your feet from the very first page - O'Flynn reveals her clues tantalisingly in this poignant story of love and loss."

If you like Catherine O'Flynn you might also like to read books by Maggie O'farrell, Jonathan Coe and Nicola Barker.


What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

A lost little girl with her notebook and toy monkey appears on the CCTV screens of the Green Oaks shopping centre, evoking memories of junior detective, Kate Meaney, missing for 20 years. Kurt, a security guard with a sleep disorder and Lisa, a disenchanted deputy manager at Your Music, follow her through the centre’s endless corridors – welcome relief from the behaviour of customers, colleagues and the Green Oaks mystery shopper. But as this after-hours friendship grows in intensity, it brings new loss and new longing to light.


‘What Was Lost skewers our consumer society in all its absurdity and terrible sadness, while deftly interweaving a tender and heartbreaking personal narrative’ Jonathan Coe

About the Author

Catherine O'Flynn

Catherine O'Flynn, the youngest of six children, was born and raised in Birmingham, where her parents ran a sweet shop. She worked in a variety of jobs including teacher, postwoman, retail assistant, journalist and mystery shopper before becoming a novelist. Her debut novel, What Was Lost, won the Costa First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. She was named Waterstone’s Newcomer of the Year in 2008 at the Galaxy British Book Awards. Her short stories and articles have featured in Granta magazine, Good Housekeeping and on Radio 4. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and daughter.

Author photo © John McQueen

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Book Info

Publication date

24th May 2007


Catherine O'Flynn

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Tindal Street Press


256 pages


Literary Fiction
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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