Kay Dick

The ‘creepily prescient’ (Margaret Atwood) dystopian ‘masterpiece’ (Emily St. John Mandel), lost for forty years: in a nightmarish Britain, THEY are coming closer…

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As heard on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row: the radical dystopian classic, lost for forty years: in a nightmarish Britain, THEY are coming closer…

‘A creepily prescient tale … Insidiously horrifying!’ Margaret Atwood
‘A masterpiece of creeping dread.’ Emily St. John Mandel

This is Britain: but not as we know it.
THEY begin with a dead dog, shadowy footsteps, confiscated books. Soon the National Gallery is purged; eerie towers survey the coast; mobs stalk the countryside destroying artworks – and those who resist.
THEY capture dissidents – writers, painters, musicians, even the unmarried and childless – in military sweeps, ‘curing’ these subversives of individual identity.
Survivors gather together as cultural refugees, preserving their crafts, creating, loving and remembering. But THEY make it easier to forget …

Lost for half a century, newly introduced by Carmen Maria Machado, Kay Dick’s They (1977) is a rediscovered dystopian masterpiece of art under attack: a cry from the soul against censorship, a radical celebration of non-conformity – and a warning.

‘Delicious and sexy and downright chilling … Read it!’ Rumaan Alam
‘Crystalline … The signature of an enchantress.’ Edna O’Brien
‘I’m pretty wild about this paranoid, terrifying 1977 masterpiece.’ Lauren Groff
‘Deft, dread filled, hypnotic and hopeful. Completely got under my skin.’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave
‘Lush, hypnotic, compulsive … A reminder of where groupthink leads.’ Eimear McBride
‘A masterwork of English pastoral horror: eerie and bewitching.’ Claire-Louise Bennett
‘A short shocker: creepy, disturbing, distressing and highly enjoyable.’ Andrew Hunter Murray
‘A fascinating, rare book: prophetic, chilling and a reminder from the past that we have everything to fight for in the future.’ Salena Godden

Critic Reviews

A creepily prescient tale in which anonymous mobs target artists for the crime of individual vision. Insidiously horrifying!

Margaret Atwood
Critic Reviews

Delicious and sexy and downright chilling ... Read it!

Rumaan Alam
Critic Reviews

Deft, dread filled, hypnotic and hopeful. Completely got under my skin.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Critic Reviews

A masterpiece of creeping dread.

Emily St. John Mandel
Critic Reviews

Crystalline ... The signature of an enchantress.

Edna O'Brien
Critic Reviews

A succession of nine quietly horrifying stories from a dystopian, pastorally radiant England ... Confident strangeness ... Supple with dread ... It has taken global misfortune and some sliding toward the abyss for They to speak fully and be heard.

New Yorker

Kay Dick was a novelist, writer and editor. Born in London in 1915, she worked at Foyles bookshop before becoming the first female director of an English publishing house aged 26, editing authors such as George Orwell. She later reviewed for the New Statesman, Times, Spectator and Punch, as well as editing The Windmill under a pseudonym. Dick wrote five…

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Kay Dick (c) Estate of Kay Dick