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BOOK OF THE MONTH
THE PLAGUE UPON US
Shabir Ahmad Mir
550

'In times like these, truth is perhaps the only justice we can have, the only...(+)

Author Spotlight

Stephenie Meyer is the author of the number one bestselling Twilight Saga, ...(+)

  Stephenie Meyer  
 
 
 
The Clothes On Their Backs
Linda Grant

Classification : General & Literary Fiction
Pub Date : Feb 07, 2008
Imprint : Virago
Page Extent : 304
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9781844085415
Price : 799

About the book
In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Then one morning a glamorous uncle appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in a leopard-skin hat on his arm. Why is Uncle Sándor so violently unwelcome in her parents' home?
This is a novel about survival - both banal and heroic - and a young woman who discovers the complications, even betrayals, that inevitably accompany the fierce desire to live.
Set against the backdrop of a London from the 1950s to the present day, The Clothes on Their Backs is a wise and tender novel about the clothes we choose to wear, the personalities we dress ourselves in, and about how they define us all.

Read Review   Want to write a review?
** '[There is] a richly imagined back-story to the central relationship in the novel - between Vivien and her uncle, Sándor Kovaks. It's through this relationship that the writer teases out difficult themes including identity, survival, immigration, and the lies that form the shaky bedrock of even the most blandly functioning family unit' IRISH TIMES
** 'Grant's book grapples with complex and provocative themes, deftly interweaving the fates and lives of different groups . . . With this novel, Grant seems to have come into her own . . . She marries lyrical description with astute observation and insight into human foibles and folly. The complexity of evil; immigrant lives proscribed; minorities set against one another; an eye for detail, that is painterly as well as unerring in its precision - all make this book disturbing and intriguing' SUNDAY TRIBUNE
** 'A terrific novel, bursting with life' MAIL ON SUNDAY
** 'Her novel is at once a beautifully detailed character study, a poignant family history and a richly evocative portrait of the late 1970s. INDEPENDENT
** 'This is a beautifully written, tender description of Vivian's parents and the man they hated.' LONDON LITE
** 'Stitched beautifullly into the fabric of her latest novel is an acute understanding of the roles clothes play in reflecting indentity and self-worth . . . Grant is as at home writing about the thrilling ripple of silk as she is charting social tensions' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
** 'A dizzying ethical maze . . . a meticulously textured and complex novel' SUNDAY TIMES
** 'THE CLOTHES ON THEIR BACKS is a return to form . . . Gripping and written with keen understatement, it manages to be a domestic coming of age story even as it takes in the tumultuous sweep of the 20th century . . .it is that rare thing; a novel of big ideas that never forgets to tell a story' EVENING STANDARD
** 'This is a terrific novel, bursting with life and vivid characters' MAIL ON SUNDAY
** 'This is a vivid, enjoyable and consistently unexpected novel' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
** 'A beautifully written and truly moving book about the experience of growing up in Britain as a second generation immigrant' EXPRESS
** 'It's a sublimely atmospheric and moving novel' LONDON PAPER
** 'A gorgous novel with incredible soul . . . Exquisite and moving [it] describes a sensible, credibly love affair with style - and the people who have it' OBSERVER WOMAN
     
Linda Grant
Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2008 for T...(+)
Books by Linda Grant
Still Here (PB)
Still Here (PB)
Still Here (PB)
Still Here (HB)
The Cast Iron Shore (PB)
The Clothes on Their Backs (epub) (PB)
The People on the Street (PB)
The Thoughtful Dresser (PB)
We Had It So Good (PB)
We Had It So Good (PB)