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The Stinging Fly: v. 2: Summer 2009 Paperback – 29 Jun 2009


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More About the Author

REVIEWS

UNEXPLODED
'Unexploded is like a piece of finely wrought ironwork, uncommonly delicate but at the same time astonishingly strong and tensile; it's a novel of staggering elegance and beauty.' THE INDEPENDENT

'Full of simmering tension, resentment and unexpressed passion... A bold, cleverly-told story from a writer who knows exactly what she's doing. I'd be happy (and not surprised) to see it on the Man Booker shortlist.' THE OBSERVER

'Unexploded is an intelligent, perceptive novel by a writer of great descriptive power... Like her modernist forebears, Macleod knows that life and death, the terrible and the mundane always co-exist - her genius lies in illustrating these truths while simultaneously spinning a bona fide pageturner.' THE DAILY MAIL

'The plot is fast-paced and engaging, the characters are compelling, and the descriptions of wartime Brighton are pin-sharp... The novel's denouement is as heart-rending as it is unexpected.' THE FINANCIAL TIMES

'An exploration of the xenophobia and neurosis unleashed in times of national crisis . . .MacLeod remains one of the most astute... writing today.' THE GUARDIAN

'redemptive...readable and entertaining' THE TIMES

'...the author's grasp of emotions, and history of art as well as politics, lend depth and charge... [There is also] the sensuality of MacLeod's prose, whether dealing with art, desire or love; and her uncanny way of allowing us to experience the thought processes of her characters as if they are traversing our own brain synapses.' THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

'Unexploded is an unforgettable book. With exquisitely researched and rendered detail, the author plunges us into the panic and paranoia of war, fusing international politics, national politics and family politics in her powerful study of hypocrisy, oppression, cultural misunderstanding and desire.' BIDISHA

'Love, fear and prejudice are all skilfully anatomised in this compellingly intimate exploration of life in war time Brighton.' JANE ROGERS

'Finely wrought, moving and haunting. What a wonderful novel this is. Bravo Alison MacLeod.' POLLY SAMSON

'Macleod is astute, a good judge of the human condition, a writer able to create a powerful sense of place and time... Highly recommended.' BOOKMUNCH

*****


FIFTEEN MODERN TALES OF ATTRACTION:
'Alison MacLeod's collection of stories is a baker's dozen of excellence book-ended by brilliance... [T]he whole is ably piloted by MacLeod's total and impressive control of her material. Highly recommended.' TIME OUT

'MacLeod's fictions are modern indeed. They are fragmentary evocations of desire and its mysteries, passing glimpses into minds and hearts.... [Her] characters are strong, and they are worth listening to...' THE GUARDIAN

'MacLeod's strike rate is uniformly high. The opening story, "so that the land was darkened", can stand for her strengths. Quietly, obliquely, MacLeod conveys more about the randomness of urban living and the ruptures caused by terrorism than most issue-centered stories, or indeed novels, ever could.' THE MONTREAL GAZETTE

'Beautifully crafted, they range from brilliantly observed humour - customers stampeding in Ikea at the store's launch in Notes for a Chaotic Century - to the haunting and heart-rending - the tender elegy to a middle-aged love affair in Dirty Weekend. Immensely readable.'
THE BIG ISSUE


'Alison MacLeod is a strikingly original voice. Her stories create intimate worlds... and make the reader live in them with an intensity which is haunting, disturbing and above all beguiling.' HELEN DUNMORE

'Her stories are about attraction turned upside down: a young woman who falls for an unconscious hospital patient precisely because of his immobility, a couple divided by the London bombings of 2005, and a young girl whose tongue gets her into all kinds of trouble. These are nimble, magical stories.' THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST

'MacLeod's range - spanning the movingly real to the mysteriously surreal - is excitingly, imaginatively realised and unified by an awareness of the dark menace of love's uncertainty.' METRO (LONDON)

'...beautiful, understated and touching love stories, which capture the attention at once and keep it until the last page. They are tales of intimacy and often of loss, gracefully and powerfully told...' THE TABLET


*******

THE WAVE THEORY OF ANGELS:
'MacLeod's novel ingeniously combines medieval theology with 21st-century physics. Her plot... set in Beauvais in 1284, concerns Giles, a woodcarver, whose work adorns the new cathedral. Giles's beautiful elder daughter, Christina, falls into a death-like trance from which neither he, nor his younger daughter, Marguerite, can wake her. Moving forward eight centuries to 2001, the story is that of Giles Carver, a physicist specialising in wave theory at a research centre in Chicago. His daughter Christina is also in a coma ... Parallels are drawn between the medieval and modern worlds, and even the religious fanaticism of the former is echoed in the American episodes. A cathedral tower falls in one story, the twin towers in the other, without seeming glib or contrived...' THE TIMES

'...a daring investigation of medieval philosophy, modern-day physics, and the relation of both to faith and desire... [MacLeod] has an engaged delight in the stuff of life...' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

'The Wave Theory of Angels is utterly delightful, beautifully written... ' ALBERTO MANGUEL

'The Wave Theory of Angels is a bold and beautiful dismantling of the linearity and fixedness of time and space... [Its characters] live and breathe and, most important, desire, in rich period detail. ... [MacLeod] has achieved an enchanting, playful and, at times, dark probing of the limits of our knowledge. It's a novel that leaves us wondering if we will not forever continue to uncover further ranks of angels, other dimensions of time and space.' THE GLOBE AND MAIL (TORONTO)

'The Wave Theory of Angels - with its pervasive belief in the essential sameness of science and religion - is a compelling story that manages a subtle delivery... The tale is gripping, the transitions are flawless and the characters are well-drawn. MacLeod takes a risk with this novel and succeeds.' THE MONTREAL GAZETTE



BIOGRAPHY
Alison MacLeod's is the author of the 2013 Man-Booker-nominated novel UNEXPLODED, a story of love and prejudice set in Brighton in the early stages of the Second World War. She has published two other novels, The Changeling (Macmillan, 1996) and The Wave Theory of Angels (Penguin, 2005). Her short stories have been widely published, and broadcast on the BBC, and her acclaimed collection, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction, was published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin in 2007.

In 2008, she was the recipient of the Society of Authors' Award for Short Fiction, while her collection was nominated for the International Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and named one of the 'Top Ten Books to Talk About' in 2009 in association with World Book Day. Her story 'The Heart of Denis Noble' was shortlisted for the prestigious BBC National Short Story Award and longlisted for The International Sunday Times EFG Award. Alongside her writing, she is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester and is represented by David Godwin Associates, London.

In her work, MacLeod is interested in the force of the imagination in our lives. She is also drawn to stories of transformation; to those experiences of love, birth and death upon which our lives suddenly pivot. Her fictional range takes her readers from classic realism to the fantastic; from contemporary historical fiction to tales of the 21st century.

Find out more about her work and her upcoming appearances at 'Alison MacLeod' on Facebook.

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