The degenerate area surrounding London's Kings Cross is the setting for the debut novella by young British writer Iphgenia Baal. Beginning in the nineteenth century and spanning the next 150 years we are lead through a potted history of the overbrimming St Pancras cemetery, long before the metropolis rode over its bones. Writer Thomas Hardy was also an architect, and was delegated the unenviable task by the Bishop of London of exhuming and dismantling the tombs to make way for this progress. Here he heads a cast composed of the living and the dead, set into turmoil as the modern world entrenches on sacred soil. A post-psychogeographic gothic tale of morality is backed up by a series of forged documents, maps and missives. Somewhere between the two, Baal creates a world where fact and fiction eerily blur; a sanctuary for the over-imaginative. The Hardy Tree is a book-guide-manual about trains and brains and cliques and freaks. It is a demonstration of how stories are made and an argument for chaos, anarchy and lawlessness. It is also a ghost story. With a happy ending.
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Used availability for Iphgenia Baal's The Hardy Tree
June 2011 : UK Hardback