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'BEAUTIFUL' Claire Fuller, award-winning author of Bitter Orange
'EXQUISITE' Fiona McFarlane, award-winning author of The Night Guest
'BEGUILING' Guinevere Glasfurd, Costa Award-shortlisted author of The Words In My Hand

'An Indian household can no more be governed peacefully without dignity and prestige, than an Indian Empire' The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, Flora Annie Steel & Grace Gardiner

Magda lives alone in her a huge house by the sea. A former scientist with a bad temper and a good dose of old fashioned British pride, she does not need help from anyone - despite her derelict house and her body's many betrayals. With her sharp tongue, she gets through carers at a rate of knots.

Until Susheela arrives.

And Susheela, it turns out, is in even more trouble than Magda. Still reeling from the recent death of her mum and trying to prop up her heartbroken dad, she finds herself falling for Ewan, a beautiful, fragile young man recovering from the brutal experience of war.

The two women - seemingly separated by class, culture and time - strike up an unlikely and sometimes uneasy friendship. Magda's no-nonsense approach to life turns out to be an unexpected source of strength for Susheela; and Susheela's Bengali heritage brings back memories of Magda's childhood in colonial India, a time filled with servants and privilege, and terrible secrets.

Those memories slowly bring back to life the tragic figure of Magda's mother, Evelyn, once a warm hearted, and free-spirited school teacher in rural England who had her innocent optimism ground away by a controlling husband and the misery of being a respectable member of the Raj's ruling class - with devastating consequences.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 156 x 240 x 37mm | 876g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474609430
  • 9781474609432

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Review quote

Deceptively simple... throughly engaging... a timeless quality... I should like to recommend that the unpretentious prose of Pigeon be read primarily for its humaneness and subtle poetical spirit. * Wales Art Review on Alys Conran's PIGEON * Might have been authored by Faulkner . . . pitch-perfect. * Omar Sabbagh, New Welsh Review on Alys Conran's PIGEON * An exquisite novel by a great new talent. * M.J. Hyland, Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of CARRY ME DOWN on Alys Conran'sPIGEON * In Alys Conran's second novel, she tells the story of Magda, an elderly woman beset with memories of her childhood in India and her growing concern for Susheela, the young woman who works as her carer. As Magda's health fails and Susheela reveals struggles of her own, the women - difficult, complicated, sometimes unlikeable - draw closer in this surprising tale of the British Empire's long reach. This is a beguiling book with a fierce, uncompromising quality to it - a novel that continues to unfold its meaning after the story has ended. * Guinevere Glasfurd, author of THE WORDS IN MY HAND (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award) * Through three women's distinct and wonderful voices Alys Conran explores the nature and meaning of home. The characters in this beautiful novel are fierce, compassionate, angry, but above all, heart-breakingly real. I was drawn in from the very first page. * Claire Fuller, award-winning author of OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS and BITTER ORANGE * Dignity is an exquisite novel: compassionate, beautiful and unflinching. I'm full of admiration for the skill with which it draws connections between the past and present, and manages to feel both timeless and achingly contemporary. * Fiona McFarlane, award-winning author of THE NIGHT GUEST *
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About Alys Conran

ALYS CONRAN's first novel PIGEON won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2017, the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award, The Wales Arts Review People's Choice Award, was shortlised for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and longlisted for the Author's Choice First Novel Award. Her short fiction has been placed in the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. She also publishes poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, creative essays and literary translations.
Originally from north Wales, she spent several years in Edinburgh and Barcelona; she speaks Welsh and English as first languages, and also speaks Spanish and Catalan. She is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bangor. Her late father, also a writer, was born in Kharagpur, Bengal.
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