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About Ajay Close
Ajay Close is a Scottish-based dramatist and writer of literary fiction. Her novels explore the emotional flashpoints of place, politics and family. Her latest, What We Did in the Dark, was inspired by the 20th century Scottish writer Catherine Carswell and her disastrous first marriage to a man who tried to strangle her. ('Profound and moving... I couldn't stop reading it,' James Robertson.)
A Petrol Scented Spring, a riveting novel of repression, jealousy and love, and the struggle for women's emancipation, was long-listed for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. ('A fascinating insight into one of the most compelling stories in the history of the women's suffrage movement,' The Times.)
The Daughter of Lady Macbeth ('sensual, wise and raw,' Rosemary Goring), explores love, family, and the kernel of mystery in the people we think we know inside out.
Trust is a story of women, men, love and money over three decades ('a serious book for grown-ups who want the world taken not with a pinch of salt but with something a little stronger.' The Scotsman.)
Forspoken features the daughter of a notorious countercultural psychiatrist who comes to believe she has been cursed. ('A rare gift of combining tartness and empathy, intellectual reach and an up-to-speed take on contemporary madness,' Candia McWilliam.)
The psychological thriller Official and Doubtful, about a woman who kills her husband and goes on the run, was long-listed for the Orange Prize. ('Brave, vulnerable, intensely observant and articulate, packed with life,' John le Carré.)
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I made what may be called a rash and foolish marriage to a man I scarcely knew.
1904: Cathie longs for adventure. A whirlwind romance with soldier and artist Herbert Jackson offers this and more, but Herbert is violently jealous and she is soon fighting for her freedom – and her life. A fictionalised account of Catherine Carswell’s first marriage, What We Did in the Dark is a compelling portrait of a trail-blazing writer.
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION
I still don’t know whether he was done for before we met, whether his heart was already claimed, or smashed. Whether the love story pieced together in these pages is mine, or hers.
The day after her wedding, Donella Ferguson Watson wakes up shackled to a man haunted by the past. The lonely days become weeks, months. Her husband Hugh, a prison doctor, will offer no explanation for their sexless marriage. She comes to suspect the answer lies with a hunger-striking suffragette who was force fed and held in solitary confinement. But what really happened between Hugh and his prisoner patient? A Petrol Scented Spring is a riveting novel of repression, jealousy and love, and the struggle for women’s emancipation.