The Light of Day

The Light of Day

Graham Swift

Fiction

The Light of Day combines a powerful love story and a narrative of intense suspense into a brilliant and tender novel about what drives people to extremes of emotion. As in his Booker-winning novel Last Orders, Swift transforms ordinary lives through extraordinary storytelling. This new novel from Graham Swift -- his first since the Booker Prize-winning Last Orders -- is the work of a master storyteller. The Light of Day is a luminous and gripping tale of love, murder and redemption. George Webb is a divorced ex-policeman turned private investigator, a man whose prospects seemed in ruins not so long ago. Following the course of a single, dazzling day in George’s life, the novel illuminates not only his past but his now all-consuming relationship with a former client. Intimate and intricate in its evocation of daily existence, The Light of Day achieves a singular intensity and almost unbearable suspense. Tender and humorous in its depiction of life’s surface, Swift explores the depths and extremities of what lies within us and how, for better or worse, it’s never too late to discover what they are. Excerpt from *The Light of Day Two years ago and a little more. October still, but a day like today, blue and clear and crisp. Rita opened my door and said, “Mrs. Nash.” I was already on my feet, buttoning my jacket. Most of them have no comparisons to go on -- it’s their first time. It must feel like coming to a doctor. They expected something shabbier, seedier, more shaming. The tidy atmosphere, Rita’s doing, surprises and reassures them. And the vase of flowers. White chrysanthemums, I recall. “Mrs. Nash, please have a seat.” I could be some high-street solicitor. A fountain-pen in my fingers. Doctor, solicitor -- marriage guidance counsellor. You have to be a bit of all three. The usual look of plucked-up courage, swallowed-back hesitation, of being somewhere they’d rather not be. “My husband is seeing another woman.”*
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Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday

Graham Swift

Fiction

A luminous, intensely moving tale that begins with a secret lovers' assignation in the spring of 1924, then unfolds to reveal the whole of a remarkable life. Twenty-two-year-old Jane Fairchild has worked as a maid at an English country house since she was sixteen. For almost all of those years she has been the clandestine lover to Paul Sheringham, young heir of a neighboring house. The two now meet on an unseasonably warm March day—Mothering Sunday—a day that will change Jane's life forever. As the narrative moves back and forth from 1924 to the end of the century, what we know and understand about Jane—about the way she loves, thinks, feels, sees, remembers—expands with every vividly captured moment. Her story is one of profound self-discovery, and through her, Graham Swift has created an emotionally soaring, deeply affecting work of fiction.
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England and Other Stories

England and Other Stories

Graham Swift

Fiction

These twenty-five new stories mark Graham Swift's return to the short form after seven acclaimed novels and confirm him as a master storyteller. They unite into a richly peopled vision of a country that is both a crucible of history and a maze of contemporary confusions. Meet Dr Shah who has never been to India and Mrs Kaminski, on her way to Poland via A meet Holly and Polly who have come to their own Anglo-Irish understanding and Lily Hobbs, married to a shirt; Charlie and Don who have seen the docks turn into Docklands; Mr Wilkinson the weirdo next door; Daisy Baker who is terrified of Yorkshire; and Johnny Dewhurst, stranded on Exmoor. Graham Swift steers us effortlessly from the Civil War to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces, homes. With his remarkable sense of place, he charts an intimate human geography. In doing so he moves us profoundly, but with a constant eye for comedy. Binding these stories together is Swift's grasp of the universal in the local and his affectionate but unflinching instinct for the story of us all: an evocation of that mysterious body that is a nation, deepened by the palpable sense of our individual bodies finding or losing their way in the nationless territory of birth, growing up, sex, ageing and death.
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Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow

Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow

Graham Swift

Fiction

On a midsummer's night Paula Hook lies awake; Mike, her husband of twenty-five years, asleep beside her; her teenage twins, Nick and Kate, sleeping in nearby rooms. The next day, she knows, will redefine all oftheir lives. Recalling the years before and after her children were born, Paula begins a story that is both a glowing celebration of love possessed and a moving acknowledgment of the secrets on whichour very identities rest. Brilliantly distilling half a century into one suspenseful night, "Tomorrow "is an eloquent meditation on the mystery of happiness. "From theTrade Paperback edition."
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Making an Elephant

Making an Elephant

Graham Swift

Fiction

In his first-ever work of nonfiction, Graham Swift—Booker Prize-winning author of Waterland and Last Orders—gives us a highly personal book: a singular and open-spirited account of a writer’s life. Here Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar; Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard; Caryl Phillips shares a beer with the author at a nightclub in Toronto. There are private moments with Swift’s father and with his own younger self, as well as musings—on history, memory, and imagination—that illuminate his work. As generous in its scope as it is acute in its observations, Making an Elephant brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry and interviews, full of insights into Swift’s passions and motivations, and wise about the friends, family and other writers who have mattered to him over the years. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Out of This World

Out of This World

Graham Swift

Fiction

Out of This World interweaves the history of a blighted family with the tragic and ludicrous history of the twentieth century. Its alternating narrators are a father and daughter--each obsessed with the other and irrevocably estranged--surveying their losses and grievances on opposite sides of the Atlantic. "A moving, ingenious and often very funny tale that takes us deep into his characters' wounded, resilient hearts with breathtaking virtuosity...rich, complicated, joyful, arresting."--USA Today
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Shuttlecock

Shuttlecock

Graham Swift

Fiction

Prentis, the narrator of this nightmarish novel, catalogs "dead crimes" for a branch of the London Police Department and suspects that he is going crazy. His files keep vanishing. His boss subjects him to cryptic taunts. His family despises him. And as Prentis desperately tries to hold on to the scraps of his sanity, he uncovers a conspiracy of blackmail and betrayal that extends from his department and into the buried past of his father, a war hero code-named "Shuttlecock"--and, lately, a resident of a hospital for the insane.
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The Sweet-Shop Owner

The Sweet-Shop Owner

Graham Swift

Fiction

The Sweet-Shop Owner is set during a single June day in the life of an outwardly unremarkable man whose inner world proves to be exceptionally resonant. As he tends to his customers, Willy Chapman, the sweet-shop owner, confronts the specters of his beautiful and distant wife and his clever, angry daughter, the history through which he has passed, and the great, unrequited passion that has tormented him for forty years.
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Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Graham Swift

Fiction

On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton—once a Devon farmer, now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park—receives the news that his brother, Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in combat in Iraq. For Jack and his wife, Ellie, this will have unexpected, far-reaching effects. For Jack in particular it means a crucial journey: to receive his brother’s remains and to confront his most secret, troubling memories. A hauntingly intimate, deeply compassionate story about things that touch and test our human core, Wish You Were Here also looks, inevitably, to a wider, afflicted world. Moving toward a fiercely suspenseful climax, it brilliantly transforms the stuff of headlines into heart-wrenching personal truth.
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Last Orders

Last Orders

Graham Swift

Fiction

Four men gather in a London pub. They have taken it upon themselves to carry out the last orders of Jack Dodds, master butcher, and deliver his ashes to the sea. As they drive towards the fulfillment of their mission, their errand becomes an extraordinary journey into their collective and individual pasts. Braiding these men's voices, and that of Jack's widow, into a choir of sorrow and resentment, passion and regret, Swift creates a testament to a changing England and to enduring mortality. "Swift has involved us in real, lived lives...Quietly, but with conviction, he seeks to affirm the values of decency, loyalty, love."--New York Review of Books "A beautiful book...a novel that speaks profoundly of human need and tenderness. Even the most cynical will be warmed by it."--San Francisco Chronicle
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Ever After

Ever After

Graham Swift

Fiction

Dazzling in its structure and shattering in its emotional force, Graham Swift's Ever After spans two centuries and settings from the adulterous bedrooms of postwar Paris to the contemporary entanglements in the groves of academe. It is the story of Bill Unwin, a man haunted by the death of his beautify wife and a survivor himself of a recent brush with mortality. And although it touches on Darwin and dinosaurs, bees and bridge builders, the true subject of Ever After is nothing less than the eternal question, "Why should things matter?"
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Learning to Swim: And Other Stories

Learning to Swim: And Other Stories

Graham Swift

Fiction

The men and women in these spare, Kafkaesque stories are engaged in struggles that are no less brutal because they are fought by proxy. In Graham Swift's taut prose, these quiet combative relationships--between a mismatched couple; an aging doctor and his hypochondriacal patient; a teenage refugee swept up in the conflict between an oppressively sentimental father and his rebellious son--become a microcosm for all human cruelty and need. "Swift proves throughout this ambitious collection that he is a master of his language and the construction of provocative situations."--Houston Chronicle
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Waterland

Waterland

Graham Swift

Fiction

Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy. "Waterland, like the Hardy novels, carries with all else a profound knowledge of a people, a place, and their interweaving.... Swift tells his tale with wonderful contemporary verve and verbal felicity.... A fine and original work."--Los Angeles Times
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(2007) Tomorrow

(2007) Tomorrow

Graham Swift

Fiction

On a midsummer's night Paula Hook lies awake; Mike, her husband of twenty-five years, asleep beside her; her teenage twins, Nick and Kate, sleeping in nearby rooms. The next day, she knows, will redefine all of their lives. Recalling the years before and after her children were born, Paula begins a story that is both a glowing celebration of love possessed and a moving acknowledgment of the secrets on which our very identities rest. Brilliantly distilling half a century into one suspenseful night, Tomorrow is an eloquent meditation on the mystery of happiness.
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