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Mrs Gaskell and Me

by Nell Stevens

Mrs Gaskell and Me Synopsis

Winner of the 2019 Somerset Maugham Award 'A great galloping joy of a book - funny, lyrical, fast paced, heart-warming - a delicious celebration of love and life' Rebecca Stott, author of In the Days of Rain In 1857, Elizabeth Gaskell set sail for Rome, a city that would prove to be a place of inspiration and love: she would make enduring friendships, and meet a man - Charles Norton - who would become the love of her life. In 2013, Nell Stevens is writing about Mrs Gaskell in Rome, and falling drastically in love with a man who lives in another city altogether. As Nell chases her heart around the world, and as Mrs Gaskell forms the greatest connection of her life, these two women, though centuries apart, are drawn together, and for Nell, Mrs Gaskell becomes more than a figure from the past. Here is a confidante, a friend, a woman who - living outside the conventions of her time - might have some wisdom to offer Nell. Mrs Gaskell and Me is about unrequited love and the romance of friendship, it is about forming a way of life outside the conventions of your time, and it offers Nell the opportunity - even as her own relationship falls apart - to give Mrs Gaskell the ending she deserved.

Mrs Gaskell and Me Press Reviews

Fascinating * Washington Post * Winningly self-deprecating * New Yorker * You won't be able to put this down * Elle Magazine * A mesmerizing literary levitation act . . . lovely and thoughtful -- Vogue on Bleaker House This year's literary sensation -- Evening Standard on Bleaker House Perfect -- Lena Dunham on Bleaker House A witty, humane work of historical storytelling brilliantly enmeshed with an almost love story that intelligently shows us that it isn't only the happy endings that come to define our lives, but also those loves that cannot be. Stevens' clever, confiding voice is a worthy companion to those of us who have ever felt lost and have looked to the literature of the past for guidance. I loved it -- Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Mrs Gaskell and Me is innovative and emotionally raw . . . a mature reflection on womanhood, and falling in love with men who we chase all over the world. Nell Stevens writes with a skill and passion all writers could learn from, and all readers will take joy in. -- Laura Jane Williams, author of Ice Cream for Breakfast Clever yet funny . . . Mrs Gaskell & Me has so many interesting things to say about love, loneliness and longing that I'm now inspired to read more of Mrs Gaskells' novels. * Red Magazine * Extraordinary, delightful and very moving . . . Stevens's affection for and relationship to these people is real, and very much alive . . . funny, heartfelt * Irish Times * A charming, distinctive memoir that is ultimately an exploration of the power and the pitfalls of storytelling * Mail on Sunday * Stevens has an analytical eye and a wonderful taste for absurdity . . . All cake is to be both had and eaten in this celebratory, charming, thoroughly fictional book. -- Claire Harman * The Guardian * A tender, clever, sublimely crafted book that celebrates the struggles and triumphs of writing, love, and the desire for connection -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars A truly lovely book - acutely observed and honest and melancholy -- Jessie Greengrass, author of Sight A great galloping joy of a book - funny, lyrical, fast paced, heart-warming - a delicious celebration of love and life -- Rebecca Stott, author of In the Days of Rain

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509868216
Publication date: 25th June 2019
Author: Nell Stevens
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Biography: literary, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900 ,

About Nell Stevens

Nell Stevens has a First in English and Creative Writing from Warwick, after which she went on to study Arabic and Comparative Literature at Harvard, and to receive a Marcia Trimble Fellowship and the Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Award for her MFA in Fiction at Boston University. She is currently researching a Ph.D. in Victorian literature at King's College London. She was a finalist in the 2011 Elle magazine Writing Talent Contest, and a runner-up in both the 2014 Mslexia Memoir Competition and the 2015 Mslexia Short Story Prize. Her first book, Bleaker House, was published in 2017.

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