We are delighted that two of our local authors have been shortlisted for this year’s Costa Book Award for First Novel: Guinevere Glasfurd and Francis Spufford. Please join us for a wonderful celebration of their success at The Bookshop, and hear from them about these astounding debut novels.
Francis Spufford’s The Golden Hill is a richly detailed story of New York in the mid-1700s; a young Mr Smith steps off a boat with a bill for £1,000 and a mysterious past. What follows is a glorious period adventure that has been compared to the work of Henry Fielding; a vividly evoked portrait of the new America, full of scandal, coffee, duels and mysteries. Francis is a writer we have long admired, and we are thrilled that his first foray into fiction has gained such acclaim; it’s thoroughly deserved!
The Words in My Hand, Guinevere Glasfurd’s debut novel, is a beautiful telling of a long forgotten story, of the shadowy woman who appears, cryptically and obscurely, in biographies of René Descartes. Her name is Helena, and she is a lowly maid so desperate to have a voice that she writes over her arms with beetroot juice. When a lodger who can match her intelligence and interest joins the household, Helena’s life is overturned. This is one of our favourite novels this year; a beautiful and moving account of a woman previously consigned to historical obscurity.