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I Am Sovereign


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A bold and hilarious hand grenade of a book that twists the novel into new shapes as the characters seemingly sabotage the fictional world they inhabit, I Am Sovereign sees Nicola Barker at her most joyful, provocative and riotous; it is the work of a novelist at the height of her powers.

About the Author

Nicola Barker was born in Ely in 1966 and spent part of her childhood in South Africa. She is the author of twelve novels - including Wide Open, Darkmans, The Yips and In the Approaches - and two short story collections. She has been twice longlisted and once shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, has won the IMPAC, the John Llewellyn Rhys and the Hawthornden Prizes, and was named one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Writers in 2003. Her latest novel, H(A)PPY, won the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize and was longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018.


"One of the funniest, most finely achieved comic novels, even by her own standard ... I think it's a masterpiece." * Ali Smith *
"Life-affirming hilarity - Evelyn Waugh on ecstasy." * Nell Zink *
"Nicola Barker's wildness and capacity for the absurd often delight me."
"Nicola Barker always makes me laugh, and her new one, I Am Sovereign, is one of her funniest yet, which is saying something. Of course the best comic stuff always has a dark, dark undertow, and so it is with Ms Barker."
"Nicola Barker loves to break the conventions of fiction ... She has set herself the novelist's ultimate challenge - to turn the dullest situation imaginable into something fascinating and lifelike - and she (mostly) pulls it off ... Barker conveys the essence of these people with such skill that you feel you have met them." * The Times *
"A bracing, brilliantly bonkers comic novel ... This is freewheeling fiction that delights in the visual." * Sunday Times *
"Nicola Barker is British fiction's brightest outlier ... a madly brilliant little book ... I loved it." * Daily Mail *
"What an audacious writer Nicola Barker is ... In an era when plot is king, Barker has typically, joyously, dispensed with one ... Barker's pleasure in the novella feels defiant." * Evening Standard *
"Nicola Barker is literary royalty ... Brave, funny and painfully timely." * Guardian *
"A riotous burst of a novel that scrutinises the nature of fiction with the lightest of touches." * Mail on Sunday *

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