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The Long Room

The Long Room

ISBN
9780571322527
Published
01/09/2016
9780571322527
Format
Paperback
Price
£7.99
Paperback
304

About the Book

What happens to a man who has his ear pressed to the lives of others but not much life of his own? When Stephen Donaldson joins the Institute, he anticipates excitement, romance and new status. Instead he gets the tape-recorded conversations of ancient communists and ineffectual revolutionaries, until the day he is assigned a new case: the ultra-secret PHOENIX. Is PHOENIX really working for a foreign power? Stephen hardly cares; it is the voice of the target's wife that mesmerises him.

This is December 1981. Bombs are exploding, a cold war is being waged, another war is just over the horizon and the nation is transfixed by weekly instalments of Brideshead Revisited. Dangerously in love, and lonely, Stephen sets himself up for a vertiginous fall that will forever change his life.

As beautiful as it is intense, The Long Room is the dazzling new novel from an award-winning writer. With her mastery of the perfect detail, Francesca Kay explores a mind under pressure and the compelling power of imagination.

What happens to a man who has his ear pressed to the lives of others but not much life of his own? When Stephen Donaldson joins the Institute, he anticipates excitement, romance and new status. Instead he gets the tape-recorded conversations of ancient communists and ineffectual revolutionaries, until the day he is assigned a new case: the ultra-secret PHOENIX. Is PHOENIX really working for a foreign power? Stephen hardly cares; it is the voice of the target's wife that mesmerises him. This is December 1981. Bombs are exploding, a cold war is being waged, another war is just over the horizon and the nation is transfixed by weekly instalments of Brideshead Revisited. Dangerously in love, and lonely, Stephen sets himself up for a vertiginous fall that will forever change his life.As beautiful as it is intense, The Long Room is the dazzling new novel from an award-winning writer. With her mastery of the perfect detail, Francesca Kay explores a mind under pressure and the compelling power of imagination.
  • Francesca Kay

    Francesca Kay's first novel, An Equal Stillness, won the Orange Award for New Writers and was nominated for the Authors' Club First Novel Award and for Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Europe and South Asia Region). Her second novel, The Translation of the Bones, was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in Oxford.

“Kay's latest novel (her third) turns around the impossibility of ever honestly knowing another person, and she delights in subverting our expectations . . . Kay's portrait of Stephen as a hollow man is masterful: the slow accumulation of aberrant actions - barely detectable at first but building to a tidal wave that sweeps all before it - offers a brilliant depiction of how a person can go quietly, invisibly mad . . . The writing is spare and vivid, and Kay's dreary depiction of the early Eighties, with its Wimpy bars and stickily carpeted pubs, is superbly atmospheric.”
- Sarah Crown, Daily Telegraph
“[Kay] is fascinated by ambiguity, the party wall that cleaves private and public worlds. Her third novel shares the lyricism that distinguished her prize-winning debut, An Equal Stillness, and its successor, The Translation of the Bones, which explores a Marian miracle and the psychology of delusion...Where the novel most succeeds is in its representation of a solipsistic consciousness, searching for a communion beyond communication.”
- Stevie Davies, Guardian

Books by this Author

Fiction The Long Room

The Long Room

Francesca Kay