A surprising, lingering and intensely moving tale from one of our most exciting novelists.
Lewis Sullivan, an RE teacher at a secondary school, was approaching retirement when he wondered for the first time whether he ought to have chosen a more dramatic career. He lives in a village in the Midlands, less than a mile from the house in which he grew up. He always imagined living by the sea. His grown-up daughter visits every day, bringing soup. He does not want soup. He frequents his second-favourite pub, where he can get half a shandy, a speciality sausage and a bit of company. But when a childhood friend appears on the scene, Lewis finds his life and comfortable routine shaken up. In Moore's inimitable, haunting style, this seemingly simple but in fact multi-layered narrative unfolds with compelling assurance. Moving between Lewis's current life of cosy habit, his memories of childhood, and his aged father agitating away in a nursing home, plot twists thicken and weave with stealthily increasing tension.
Always unexpected, sparely written and beautifully crafted, He Wants deftly dissects the themes of loneliness, anxiety, the weight of recollection and the complex nature of friendship and family ties. A surprising, lingering and intensely moving tale which reflects the prodigious talent of one of our most exciting novelists.
Alison Moore is a novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, The Lighthouse, won the McKitterick Prize 2013 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012 and the National Book Awards 2012 (New Writer of the Year). Her second novel, He Wants, was published in 2014. Her short stories have been published in Best British Short Stories anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. The title story of her debut collection, The Pre-War House and Other Stories, won a novella prize and the collection was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2014. She is published by Salt. Born in Manchester in 1971, she lives in a village on the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border. She is an honorary lecturer in the School of English at Nottingham University.
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