Jennifer Johnston's first novel, "The Captains and The Kings", won the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award, and with this novel, "The Old Jest" and "How Many Miles to Babylon", she also won the Whitbread Prize, and twice won the Yorkshire Post Award Best Book of the Year. She has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize with "Shadows on Our Skin". Her other books include "Two Moons" and "The Gingerbread Woman". "This Is Not a Novel" has been shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year 2002.
Jennifer Johnston is one of the foremost Irish writers of her, or any generation. She has won the Whitbread Prize (THE OLD JEST), the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award (for THE CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS), the Yorkshire Post Award, Best Book of the Year (twice, for THE CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS and HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON?). She has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize with SHADOWS ON OUR SKIN.
The quiet, elegiac prose is well sustained * Guardian *
Characters damaged by their upbringing are Jennifer Johnston's metier, and echoes are a favourite motif. In what is, despite its title, a very fine novel, the tragedies of her family's past recur as Imogen's words resound off the coastal bay. A taut narrative, pared prose and lyrical imagery add up to a sad affirmation of Philip Larkin's adage * Saturday Telegraph *
Characteristically wry [and] intelligent * Eileen Battersby, Irish Times *