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Graham Swift

Here We Are

Here We Are

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'A quietly; devastating; magical novel' Daily Telegraph 'Beautiful; gentle; intricate... Here We Are smuggles within the pages of a seemingly commonplace tale depths of emotion and narrative complexity that take the breath away.' The Observer It is Brighton; 1959; and the theatre at the end of the pier is having its best summer season in years. Ronnie; a brilliant young magician; and Evie; his dazzling assistant; are top of the bill; drawing audiences each night. Meanwhile; Jack - Jack Robinson; as in 'before you can say' - is everyone's favourite compere; a born entertainer; holding the whole show together. As the summer progresses; the off-stage drama between the three begins to overshadow their theatrical success; and events unfold which will have lasting consequences for all their futures. Rich; comic; alive and subtly devastating; Here We Are is a masterly piece of literary magicianship which pulls back the curtain on the human condition. 'With a wizardry of his own; Swift conjures up an about-to-disappear little world and turns it into something of wider resonance' Sunday Times 'There's nothing extravagant or showy about Here We Are . . . The book's power comes precisely from the fact that it performs its magic in front of your eyes; leaving nowhere to hide . . . you wonder how he does it.' Financial Times 'As with all his books; it's the moments of quiet; undramatic poignancy that stay with you' Sunday Express 'He tells simple; truthful stories about what feel like real people. Here We Are is a welcome addition to a proud legacy.' The Big Issue The variety of voices and its historical and emotional reach are so finely entwined; it is as perfect and smooth as an egg. Passages leap out all the time; demanding to be reread; or committed to memory... It is perhaps too simple to say that Swift creates a form of fictional magic; but what he can do with a page is out of the ordinary; far beyond most mortals' ken.' Rosemary Goring; The Herald 'Here We Are is a subtle portrait of a vanished world; with moving passages about the problems of wartime evacuees returning to impoverished London life after the wonders of the countryside.' The Independent 'In Here We Are; Swift does not just dwell on the pivotal moments of our lives; but traces their shockwaves both forward and back. Moving seamlessly from pre-war to post; from the events of one illusory; youthful summer to the present; we are given candid access to the innermost reflections of three people who loved and betrayed each other. The end result is the stuff of life; an enduring mystery that Ronnie; Evie; Jack - that we all - must live with. I thought it was wonderful.' Joseph Knox; author of Sirens Praise for Mothering Sunday: 'Bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes; it blazes irresistibly... Swift's small fiction feels like a masterpiece' Guardian 'Alive with sensuousness and sensuality ... wonderfully accomplished; it is an achievement' Sunday Times 'From start to finish Swift's is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve. The archly modulated; precise prose (a hybrid of Henry Green and Kazuo Ishiguro) is a glory to read. Now 66; Swift is a writer at the very top of his game' Evening Standard 'Mothering Sunday is a powerful; philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead; and the parallel lives - the parallel stories - we can never know ... It may just be Swift's best novel yet' Observer


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