Meeting the English A Novel

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/3/2015
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

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"Exceptional . . . Clanchy has a wincingly accurate eye for social comedy, a vivid descriptive sense, and profound understanding of her characters. This is a delectable read." --Daily Mail (UK)
In response to an advertisement, Struan Robertson, orphan, genius, and just seventeen, leaves his dour native town in Scotland, and arrives at a creaky mansion in London in the freakishly hot summer of 1989. His job, he finds, is to care for playwright and one-time literary star Phillip Prys, dumbfounded and paralyzed by a massive stroke, because, though Phillip's two teenage children, two wives, and a literary agent all rattle 'round his large house, they are each too busy with their peculiar obsessions to do it themselves. As the city bakes, Struan finds himself tangled in a midsummer's dream of mistaken identity, giddying property prices, wild swimming, and overwhelming passions. For everyone, it is to be a life-changing summer.
Kate Clanchy's Meeting the English is a bright book about dark subjects--a tale about kindness and its limits, told with love. It is a coming of age story for anyone who has ever felt themselves to be an outsider; a love story for the awkward; and a comedy for anyone who has ever lived in a family. Written by an acclaimed writer of poetry, non-fiction, and short stories, this glorious debut novel is spiked with witty dialogue and jostling with gleeful, zesty characters.

Author Biography

KATE CLANCHY was born and grew up in Scotland but now lives in England. Her poetry collections, Slattern, Samarkand, and Newborn, have brought her many literary awards and an unusually wide audience. She is the author of the acclaimed memoir Antigona and Me, and was the 2008 winner of the Writers Guild Best Book Award. She has also written extensively for Radio 4 and reviews and writes commentary for The Guardian. Meeting the English was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel award.

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