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Paradise
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The breakthrough novel by Best-of-Young-British novelist.

About the Author

A. L. Kennedy has twice been selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and has won a host of other awards - including the Costa Book of the Year for her novel Day. She lives in London and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at Warwick University.

Reviews

There's real in-house cheerleading for award winner Kennedy's new novel, which features hapless Hannah, who's looking for "paradise" through desperately self-destructive acts. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

When a dull neighbor asks Hannah Luckraft what she does for a living, Hannah can barely refrain from answering honestly: "Oh, a little theft, monstrosity, credit-card fraud, and my hobbies include giving blow jobs to unpleasant men while I'm semi-unconscious. I also drink a lot." With her fifth novel, Kennedy proves herself-again-to be a master of extracting searing beauty from patently ugly truths. Awash in whisky, 30-year-old narrator Hannah is the consummate professional screwup: she drinks with ferocity and harbors no pretenses about her self-destructive impulses or their horrendous consequences. Her wry, wary commentary has no right to be anything but gut-wrenchingly sad, yet her savage wit and chilling self-awareness transform even unspeakable misery into something howlingly funny. Blacking out becomes "master[ing] the art of escaping from linear time," rehab is reduced to "being slapped down into a grisly ring of pink Naugahyde armchairs and made to discuss [our] personal lives with a dozen emotional vampires" and paradise itself is revealed to be "an untouched bottle and the man who loves me, the man I love." Of course, Hannah knows that happiness can't last, so when a charming drunk named Robert stumbles into her life, her bed and her head, no one dares to hope for a happy ending. Their thirst for oblivion, sobriety and oblivion again is the story of paradise found and lost a thousand times over. "How it happens is a long story, always," but rarely is it so jaw-droppingly good as this. (Mar. 14) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A brave and uncompromising book that lingers in the mind, Paradise is A.L. Kennedy on top form" Independent "This is a narrative that will not let the reader go - One of the most linguistically inventive and captivating British writers of the age" Observer "The book sings its encapsulated pain with the effervescent energy of laughter" The Times "Beautifully written...Her sharpest vision yet" Guardian "One of Britain's most iconoclastic and fiercely independent talents, a writer who repeatedly tests our expectations... Compelling, even consuming" Daily Telegraph

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