Hensher, Philip Scenes from Early Life

ISBN 13: 9780007450107

Scenes from Early Life

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9780007450107: Scenes from Early Life

Winner of the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, this is the new novel from the author of ‘King of the Badgers’ and the Man Booker-shortlisted ‘The Northern Clemency’.

“I was a baby during the war. We stayed inside for months. All my aunts took turns in feeding me. I couldn't be heard to cry. You see, there were soldiers in the streets. They would have known what a crying baby meant. So I had to be kept silent. No, not everyone came out of the war alive.”

One family’s life, and a nation – Bangladesh – are uniquely created through conversation, sacrifice, songs, bonds, blood, bravery and jokes. Narrated by a young boy born into a savage civil war, ‘Scenes from Early Life’ is a heartbreaking, funny and gripping novel by one of our finest writers.

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Review:

‘An unostentatious tour de force, combining a tender and richly affectionate family memoir with a vividly evoked portrait of town and country life and the story of the birth of a nation. It is full of surprises’ Margaret Drabble

‘Beautifully packed with detail … does for Bangladesh what Salmon Rushdie did for India with Midnight’s Children … It is a remarkable re-creation of a land that most of us know little about’ Sunday Times

‘This is his most purely pleasurable novel to date’ Daily Mail

‘Highly impressive … for all Hensher's accomplished ventriloquism – his ability to inhabit the voice of a Muslim child and a history teacher at the same time – his own voice is not lost … heart-breaking’ Guardian

‘A deeply interesting book … The joins are seamless … It is inventive, clever and loving; a Booker candidate, I would have thought.’ Spectator

‘…this delightful book shows for the first time what Hensher has largely concealed in the past: his heart’ Amanda Craig, Independent on Sunday

About the Author:

Philip Hensher is a columnist for the Independent, arts critic for the Spectator and a Granta Best of Young British novelist. He has written seven novels, including The Mulberry Empire and the Booker-shortlisted The Northern Clemency, and one collection of short stories. He lives in South London.

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