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Helen Dunmore's picture

Helen Dunmore

UK flag (1952 - 2017)

Helen Dunmore's pen must have barely rested after her first novel, Zennor in Darkness, was published in 1993. An extraordinarily prolific writer, she won the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction for her second novelA Spell of Winter and her other bestselling fiction included the novelsThe SiegeThe Betrayal and ExposureBirdcage Walkwas her last novel. Dunmore also wrote books for children and YA readers, including the novels that form the Ingo Chronicles. She was also an award-winning poet and her final collection, written in the months leading up to her death, Inside the Wave, is both a meditation on mortality and a celebration of life in all its strange and wonderful richness.
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book winner (1996) : A Spell of Winter
Whitbread Prize Best Novel nominee (2001) : The Siege
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2002) : The Siege
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2006) : House of Orphans
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2010) : The Betrayal
Walter Scott Prize Best Historical Novel nominee (2015) : The Lie

Helen Dunmore recommends
Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940)
Willa Cather
"Willa Cather makes a world which is burningly alive, sometimes lovely, often tragic."
Four Dreamers and Emily (1996)
Stevie Davies
"Poignant, funny and luminous - lit by comedy and wisdom."
Tamarind Mem (1996)
Anita Rau Badami
"I enjoyed it enormously... A captivating writer, with a sharp sense of character and a humour that infuses the story with vitality."
A Stairway to Paradise (1999)
Madeleine St John
"A moral comedy as well as a social one."
Laura Blundy (2000)
Julie Myerson
"A richly atmospheric novel which burns in the imagination, and will go on burning for a long time. Lorna belongs in her own time, and yet reaches out through it, telling her story with a candour I found deeply moving."
The Story of My Face (2002)
Kathy Page
"A moving, absorbing story... Kathy Page writes beautifully."
The End of my Tether (2002)
Neil Astley
"Brilliantly readable, wildly funny and macabre."
Dandelion Soup (2004)
Babs Horton
"Cunningly and powerfully told."
The Burying Beetle (2005)
(Gussie, book 1)
Ann Kelley
"Atmospheric and beguilling."
Resistance (2007)
Owen Sheers
"Sheers is a vivid sensual writer."
Dream Laboratory (2007)
Clare Brown
"A novelist to watch. She is original, ruthless and full of vitality."
The Ingenious Edgar Jones (2007)
Elizabeth Garner
"Garner's imagination is compelling and the novel has real narrative drive... enjoyable and eloquent."
A Life Apart (2008)
Neel Mukherjee
"Assured and fearless... this is subtle, precise writing."
Before I Knew Him (2008)
Anna Ralph
"Sensuous and evocative... Anna Ralph has real poise."
Afterlife (2009)
Sean O'Brien
"Compelling and hypnotic."
The Pink Hotel (2011)
Anna Stothard
"The quality of her writing is remarkable."
The Lie of the Land (2017)
Amanda Craig
"I loved the The Lie of the Land. A panoramic, superbly-plotted novel about the ways we live now, about money and desire, cruelty and generosity, crime and vengeance, country and city. Craig is at the top of her game."
Home Fire (2017)
Kamila Shamsie
"Its pages are lit by Shamsie's eloquent prose . A novel well worth reading."
The Feed (2018)
Nick Clark Windo
"What a riveting and original novel! THE FEED is frighteningly believable and disturbing and I loved the way I was pulled into its dark reality, so convincing that it's almost unbearable. THE FEED is one of those rare novels that changes your mind as you read it. It is such a brilliant exploration of the hive-mind, taken to chilling extremes which almost destroy humanity."

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