Shortlisted for the Man Booker PrizeAfter a lifetime's struggle with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, in 1840 the nature poet John Clare is incarcerated. This historically accurate, intensely lyrical novel, describes the asylum's closed world and Nature's paradise outside the walls: Clare's dream of home, of redemption, of escape.
After a lifetime's struggle with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, in 1840 the nature poet John Clare is incarcerated. The asylum, in London's Epping Forest, is run on the reformist principles of occupational therapy. At the same time, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and became entangled in the life of the asylum. This historically accurate, intensely lyrical novel, describes the asylum's closed world and Nature's paradise outside the walls- Clare's dream of home, of redemption, of escape.
Adam Foulds was born in 1974, took a Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia and now lives in South London. His first novel, The Truth About These Strange Times, was published in 2007 and his book-length narrative poem, The Broken Word, the following year. He was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2008.
"A seamless blend of historical fact and fiction...Foulds's writing has a poetic intensity and his descriptions of the autumnal woods around the asylum are as piercingly keen as his insight into the minds of the patients, the doctor and his family" Daily Mail "Adam Foulds won the 2008 Costa Poetry Award, and he is a skilful poet. These talents are well displayed in his prose which, while lyrical, never grows fussy or highfalutin.' He draws a walk-on character with a few deft strokes" -- Lionel Shriver Telegraph "A work of strikingly beautiful, unforced writing" Daily Express "The chief pleasure of the book is its prose: exquisite yet measured, precise, attentive to the world" Sunday Telegraph "Fould's exceptional novel is like a lucid dream: earthy and true, but shifting, metamorphic - the word-perfect fruit of a poet's sharp eye and noevlist's limber reach" The Times
Winner of The South Bank Show Awards: Literature 2010
Short-listed for Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2009
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