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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE
'Moving, transfixing' BOOKER PRIZE JUDGES
'Absorbing...powerful' Catherine Taylor, GUARDIAN
A novel about guilt and fear, friendship and rejection; about the meaning of home.
A young refugee washes up unconscious on the beach of a small island inhabited by no one but Samuel, an old lighthouse keeper. Unsettled, Samuel is soon swept up in memories of his former life on the mainland: a life that saw his country suffer under colonisers, then fight for independence, only to fall under the rule of a cruel dictator; and he recalls his own part in its history.
In this new man’s presence he begins to consider, as he did in his youth, what is meant by land and to whom it should belong. To what lengths will a person go in order to ensure that what is theirs will not be taken from them?
'An Island concerns itself with lives lived on the margins, through the story of a man who has exiled himself from the known world only to find himself called to the service of others, themselves exiled from the world by cruelty and circumstance. It is on these grounds that this writer deftly constructs a moving, transfixing novel of loss, political upheaval, history, identity, all rendered in majestic and extraordinary prose' BOOKER PRIZE JUDGES
'Jennings creates an artful balance between the tense claustrophobia of the island and Samuel’s backstory and subsequent self-loathing...An Island is a small but powerful book, with the reach of a more capacious work, compounding merciless political critique and allegory rendered in tender prose' Catherine Taylor, GUARDIAN
'A chewy, satisfying meal, with flavours worth waiting for' John Self, TIMES ‘Karen Jennings...is showing all the signs that she is destined for the kind of greatness achieved by Margaret Atwood, Nadine Gordimer or Jeanette Winterson...’ Karina Magdalena, CAPE TIMES
'A gripping, terrifying and unforgettable story' Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature, Oxford
Jeffrey Archer, whose novels and short stories include The Clifton Chronicles, Kane and Abel and Cat O’ Nine Tales, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction, short stories and non-fiction. A member of the House of Lords for over a quarter of a century, the author is married to Dame Mary Archer, and they have two sons, two grandsons and two granddaughters.
‘I wrote these three books at a time when my children were aged six and four, and obviously were too young to read Kane and Abel! But their friends were telling them I was an author, and they demanded their own books. Willy is my eldest son William, and James his younger brother.’ ― Jeffrey Archer