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Faber announces a new novel from Richard T. Kelly

By Faber Editor, 3 April 2023

The Black Eden is a powerful and soulful novel of five lives transformed forever by the discovery that changed 20th century Britain – the discovery of North Sea oil.

‘A wonderfully evocative and atmospheric novel, written with great narrative assurance and remarkable, meticulous detail. A tremendous achievement.’ William Boyd

1956, the Scottish Highlands: Aaron and Robbie, a schoolmaster’s son and a farmer’s boy, are fast friends with a shared passion for diving, but very divergent ideas of what they will do with their lives.

Meanwhile, Mark and Ally, bright pupils at Edinburgh’s grandest private school, are aspiring to make change in the world – one through high finance, the other on the political stage. And Joseph, heir to an Aberdeen trawler-fishing dynasty, is brooding over whether his true ambitions are set higher than his father’s succession plan.

For each of them, the discovery of oil under the North Sea will make their dreams achievable. But behind the promise and temptation of ‘black gold,’ there is a price to be paid. Soon, they will discover that oil can overthrow relationships, turn friends into foes, and even put lives in peril.

‘The most authentic political novel I’ve read recently . . . highly recommended.’
Nicola Sturgeon on The Knives

‘A magnificent state-of-the-nation epic.’
Financial Times on Crusaders

The Black Eden will be published on 6 July, 2023.

Richard T. Kelly was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and grew up in Northern Ireland. He is the author of the novels Crusaders (2008), The Possessions of Doctor Forrest (2011) and The Knives (2016). Eclipse, his first script for television, aired on Channel 4 in 2010. From 1998 to 2001 he was a programmer and curator for the Edinburgh Film Festival. He has written several studies of filmmakers: Alan Clarke (1998), The Name of this Book is Dogme 95 (2000), and the authorized biography Sean Penn: His Life & Times (2004). In 2007 he edited Ten Bad Dates with De Niro: A Book of Alternative Film Lists. Keegan and Dalglish, his dual biography of the legendary footballers, was published in 2017 and longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize.