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What I Know by Andrew Cowan


What I Know by Andrew Cowan

On the morning of his fortieth birthday, Mike Hannah wakes from a dream about the girl he loved twenty years earlier. Once an aspiring writer, he is now a private detective whose work and marriage have become routine, and he begins to wonder what might have been. Which leads him to wondering where his ex-girlfriend is now, and whether other people's lives are more exciting than his. Which leads him to spying on his own family, friends and neighbours. Which leads to some very unwelcome surprises...


[Cowan] paints a patient, exact and quietly powerful portrait of lives slowly being stripped of their secrets and delusions. * Sunday Times * An acutely observed, subtle exploration of how much (or little) people really know about those they should know best . . . supremely well crafted: the descriptions are strikingly visual, the milieu wickedly credible . . . quietly moving, keenly insightful, a story with a provincial English backdrop that is also an understated meditation on the authenticity of existence. * Sunday Business Post * Its willed restraint and implicit solitude are wonderfully sustained . . . a masterclass in intimate understatement which proves that the brain is indeed our most erotic organ and the imagination its muse. * Scotsman * Gripping. We are mesmerised by its smoothness of plot and prose, perfectly designed to make the odd and the irregular stand out with intensity . . . Cowan has succeeded in making the ordinary incredibly engrossing - something that many try to do but few do well. * Scotland on Sunday * Elusive, strange and complex . . . an emotionally and philosophically rich existential private eye novel . . . Slowly, with great subtlety and skill, Cowan . . . explores the private battles that rage silently in every home * William Sutcliffe, Guardian *

About the Author

Andrew Cowan was born in Corby and educated at Beanfield Comprehensive and the University of East Anglia. His first novel, PIG, won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Betty Trask Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Prize, the Author's Club First Novel Award and a Scottish Council Book Award. He is also the author of COMMON GROUND and CRUSTACEANS, which was published to critical acclaim in 2001. He lives in Norwich with the writer Lynne Bryan and their daughter, Rose, and has recently been appointed Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th March 2006


Andrew Cowan

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Sceptre an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


288 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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