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Marvin Close

Marvin Close
Marvin Close authored (with Chuck Korr) the highly acclaimed More Than Just A Game: Football vs Apartheid (HarperCollins), and is currently writing the life story of Hope Powell.

Marvin has also written and storylined over 100 hours of broadcast TV, including numerous episodes for Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Tracey Beaker and Doctors. He also writes for radio and theatre, and is a former writer-in-residence at Manchester’s Library Theatre. He lives on the East Yorkshire coast with his wife Sheily, their four children and Libby the dog, just a bit further up the road from the back of beyond.

Jackie Copleton

Jackie Copleton

Jackie Copleton lived in Nagasaki and Sapporo where she taught English before returning to England and becoming a journalist. This is her first novel.

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding
a dictionary of mutual understanding

‘What and how much should I admit to myself, and to others? Should I begin with this acknowledgement: my daughter Yuko might be alive today if I had loved her in a different way?’

When a badly scarred man knocks on the door of Amaterasu Takahashi’s retirement home and says that he is her grandson, she doesn’t believe him.

But if you’ve become adept at lying, can you tell when someone is speaking the truth? Amaterasu knows her grandson and her daughter died the day the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki; she searched for them amongst the ruins of her devastated city and has spent years burying her memories of that brutal summer. So this man is either a miracle or a cruel trick.

The stranger forces Amaterasu to revisit her past; the hurt and humiliation of her early life, the intoxication of a first romance, the fierceness of a mother’s love. For years she has held on to the idea that she did what she had to do to protect her family… but now nothing seems so certain.

We can’t rewrite history, but can we create a new future?

Set against the dramatic backdrop of Nagasaki before and after the bomb, A DICTIONARY OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING is about regret, forgiveness and the exquisite pain of love.

World Rights: Penguin Random House
EAN: 9780091959067
Published: 16 Jul 2015

Polly Clark

Polly Clark

Polly Clark was born in Toronto, Canada in 1968 and was brought up in Cumbria, Lancashire and the Borders of Scotland.

She has pursued a number of careers including zoo-keeping at Edinburgh Zoo and teaching English in Hungary. In 1997 she won an Eric Gregory Award for her poetry, and her first collection, Kiss (2000) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.  Her second collection, Take Me With You (2005) was a Poetry Book Society Choice, shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her collection Farewell My Lovely was published in 2009.

In 2004 she was selected as one of Mslexia magazine’s ten best poets to emerge in the last decade. For three years, she was Poet in Residence for the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton, a project which was shortlisted in the Arts and Business Awards 2002, and in 2004 she co-ordinated and presented a tour round the south east of England with the Pulitzer-winning author Richard Ford.

Clark’s unpublished memoir Thank You So Much For Writing won the 2014 Tony Lothian Prize. It was a winner in a 2012 national competition to find Scotland’s best new nonfiction. She produces the Literature Programme for Cove Park, Scotland’s International Artist Residency Centre, where she programmes a range of writers and events, and currently lives in Helensburgh.

Website: https://pollyclark.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsPollyClark

Polly Clark is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact jenny@jennybrownassociates.com

Books by Polly

Larchfield
Quercus, forthcoming March 2017

Polly Clark - Larchfield

It’s early summer when a young poet, Dora Fielding, moves to Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland and her hopes are first challenged. Newly married, pregnant, she’s excited by the prospect of a life that combines family and creativity. She thinks she knows what being a person, a wife, a mother, means. She is soon shown that she is wrong. As the battle begins for her very sense of self, Dora comes to find the realities of small town life suffocating, and, eventually, terrifying; until she finds a way to escape reality altogether.

Another poet, she discovers, lived in Helensburgh once. Wystan H. Auden, brilliant and awkward at 24, with his first book of poetry published, should be embarking on success and society in London. Instead, in 1930, fleeing a broken engagement, he takes a teaching post at Larchfield School for boys where he is mocked for his Englishness and suspected – rightly – of homosexuality. Yet in this repressed limbo Wystan will fall in love for the first time, even as he fights his deepest fears.

The need for human connection compels these two vulnerable outsiders to find each other and make a reality of their own that will save them both. Echoing the depths of Possession, the elegance of The Stranger’s Child and the ingenuity of Longbourn, Larchfield is a beautiful and haunting novel about heroism – the unusual bravery that allows unusual people to go on living; to transcend banality and suffering with the power of their imagination.

Praise for Larchfield

Winner of the MsLexia Prize

Larchfield is that rarest of rare first novels – a book that actually achieves its great ambition. I found it so immensely readable; it’s brainy, verbally acute and knowing, with an ingenious literary historical premise that it impressively (and artfully) carries off right in front of your eyes. It’s work of considerable talent
Richard Ford

This is a mysterious, wondrous, captivating book
Louis de Bernieres

Linda Cracknell

linda-cracknell

Linda Cracknell has built up an impressive track record since winning the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday short story competition in 1998. Her first collection, Life Drawing (11:9, 2000), was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award. She was a recipient of the Scottish Arts Council’s prestigious Creative Scotland Awards in 2007 for her non-fiction project Path. Linda has also been commissioned by the BBC to abridge D H Lawrence’s The Rainbow in ten parts, and to write an afternoon play based on the life of Valda Grieve, broadcast in 2005. Her many residency posts include time spent in Maine, New York, at Brownsbank Cottage, last home of poet Hugh MacDiarmid and at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital.

Website: http://www.lindacracknell.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaJCracknell

Linda Cracknell is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact jenny@jennybrownassociates.com

Books By Linda

Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory
Freight Books, May 2014

Doubling Back is a fascinating and moving account of walking in the footsteps of others. In 1952 Linda Cracknell’s father embarked on a hike through the Swiss Alps. Fifty years later Linda retraces that fateful journey, following the trail of the man she barely knew. This collection of walking tales takes its theme from that pilgrimage. The walks trace the contours of history, following writers, relations and re-treading ways across mountains, valleys and coasts formerly trodden by drovers, saints and adventurers. Each walk is about the reaffirming of memories, beliefs and emotions, and especially of the connection that one can have with the past through particular places. This book celebrates life, family, friendship and walking through landscapes richly textured with stories. Doubling Back is a masterwork of travel writing in the vein of Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin, lyrical, poignant, and with stunning descriptions of the landscapes Linda Cracknell leads us through.

Praise for Doubling Back

Cracknell wonderfully explores the strange durability of the paths that we make in our lives, in our dreams and after our deaths
Robert Macfarlane

A winning combination of memoir, travelogue and literary meditation
Daily Mail

With Cracknell’s writing you don’t so much see the landscape as feel it
Scotland on Sunday

A Radio 4 Book of the Week

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21535051-doubling-back

Call of the Undertow
Freight Books, October 2013

Call of the Undertow by Linda Cracknell

When Maggie Thame, a childless forty-something from Oxford, relocates to a remote village at Scotland’s most northern edge, it’s clear she’s running away. But to the villagers the question remains, from what? Pursuing her career as a freelance cartographer, she lives in self-imposed isolation, seeking refuge in the harsh beauty of her surroundings. This is disturbed when she falls into an uneasy friendship with Trothan Gilbertson, a strange, other-worldly local nine-year old. Like Maggie, it’s unclear where Trothan really comes from, and what secrets might be lurking in his past. The lives of both become intertwined, with violent consequences that will change the destinies of woman and boy forever, forcing Maggie to confront the tragic events that first drew her to this isolated place.

In this, her debut novel, award-winning writer Linda Cracknell explores themes of motherhood,
guilt, myth and the elemental forces of nature in a lyrical, taut and haunting account of damaged
lives seeking redemption.

Praise for Call of the Undertow

A haunting tale that, like the landscape in which it’s set, is perched on the cusp of the super­natural without ever quite toppling in
The Herald 

This is a stark, atmospheric novel, with a strong sense of place: the wheeling sea birds, the endless ocean, and the drama of the big sky are all powerfully evoked, as is the sense of a small community where everyone knows everyone else’s secrets
The Independent

Every so often… The universe gifts you a book the reading of which becomes more important than anything else you could be doing at that moment… A reality that snares you so completely that for a few hours, it’s the rest of the world that is shelved. Such a book is Call of the Undertow
The Book Bag

The past and memory form the fulcrum in what is the first full length novel by one of Scotland’s most exciting new talents. This atmospheric and finely crafted work certainly marks Cracknell as one to watch in 2014
Waterstones Edinburgh

An astonishingly beautiful novel with passages of exquisite nature writing, light-touch description and a well-paced narrative which moves around the human psyche like a restless wind
Northwords Now

One of the most enchanting and magical novels of the year
Scots Whay Hae!

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18393887-call-of-the-undertow

The Searching Glance
Salt, October 2009

The Searching Glance is the long-awaited second collection from one of Scotland’s leading short story writers. The worlds inhabited by the characters in these stories are diverse. Linda Cracknell’s stories are multi-layered and brooding with longing and loss, allowing the reader a ‘searching glance’ at characters’ lives. With touches of the surreal and hard strokes of reality, these stories will linger in the mind.

Praise for The Searching Glance

Recognisably one of Scotland’s foremost short-story writers. Her first collection does not disappoint
Caledonia Magazine

Linda Cracknell brings female experience hauntingly to life
The Scotsman

Linda Cracknell’s attention to detail is impressive: she writes as a painter in oils might paint, using a palette rich in both colour and texture, and the people she brings to life seem at once both part of and alienated from the landscapes in which they move. These are quiet yet passionate stories, subtle and striking in their effect
James Robertson

Juliet Conlin

Juliet Conlin

Juliet Conlin was born in London and now lives in Berlin. In between, she has worked – among other things – as a barmaid, a bank clerk, a secretary, a lecturer and a research scientist. Juliet studied Psychology at Staffordshire University, where she gained a first class honours degree (BSc) and an MSc in Psychological Research Methods. She then completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Durham and conducted research into decision making at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. More recently, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University and now works as a writer and translator. Juliet writes novels, short stories and screenplays in both English and German. She is married and has four children between the ages of six and twenty-two.

Website: http://www.julietconlin.com/en/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julietconlin

Juliet Conlin is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact jenny@jennybrownassociates.com

Books by Juliet

Juliet Conlin - The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days

The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days
Black & White Publishing, forthcoming Spring 2017

The Fractured Man
Cargo, July 2013

Fractured Man by Juliet Conlin

London, 1920. Elliot Taverley is an ambitious young psychoanalyst specialising in the new and controversial field of handwriting analysis. When he receives a visit from a man who seems to change personality when he copies others handwriting, Elliot is intrigued and soon becomes obsessed with the man and his mysterious disorder. Spiralling into an increasingly bizarre cat-and-mouse chase and with his mind collapsing, Elliot is forced to confront his difficult childhood and the horrors of war in Arctic Russia in a desperate search for the truth. The Fractured Man is one of the most explosive debuts of the year a psychological thriller that takes us through a war-ravaged Europe and the dark minds that inhabit it to a shocking conclusion.

Praise for The Fractured Man

An addictive thriller… deliciously dark and hypnotic, a psychological thriller fused with the spine-tingling atmosphere of a ghost story
The List

Brilliant plotting meets magnificent writing
Glasgow Review of Books

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20582485-the-fractured-man

Jim Crumley

Jim_Crumley

Jim Crumley was born and raised in Dundee. He left school at sixteen to work at the newspaper and magazine publisher and Dundee institution, DC Thomson, followed by stints at a number of major Scottish newspapers. He is best known, however, as a nature writer, with over thirty books to his name, a passionate advocate of species reintroductions, especially of wolf and beaver, the widespread restoration and expansion of native habitats, and a radical reappraisal of the relationship between the people of Scotland and the land. He writes columns for the Scots Magazine and The Courier and now lives in Stirling.

Jim’s website: https://jimcrumley.wordpress.com/

Jim Crumley is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact jenny@jennybrownassociates.com

Selected Books by Jim

The Nature of Autumn
Saraband, August 2016

Jim Crumley - The Nature of Autumn

In autumn nature stages some of its most enchantingly beautiful displays; yet it’s also a period for reflection, melancholy even, as the days shorten and winter’s chill approaches. Taking in September to November, Jim Crumley tells the story of how unfolding autumn affects the wildlife and landscapes of his beloved countryside. Along the way, Jim experiences the deer rut, finds phenomenal redwood trees in the most unexpected of places, and contemplates climate change, the death of his father, and his own love of nature; thus painting an intimate – and deeply personal – portrait of a moody and majestic British autumn.

Praise for The Nature of Autumn

Jim Crumley is the pre-eminent Scottish nature writer
The Guardian

A passionate, compelling, very personal work… the honesty of his voice is striking
Scottish Review of Books

Enthralling and often strident
Observer

An astonishingly good writer. Not just an astonishingly good nature writer, but an outstanding artist with prose
West Highland Free Press.

Nature’s Architect: The Beaver’s Return to Our Wild

Saraband, July 2015

Hundreds of years after their extinction in these isles, beavers are back in Britain. These highly skilled engineers of the natural world have been reintroduced at several sites across the UK and, even as they become established, are already having a dramatic effect on our wild landscapes. Jim Crumley reveals the pioneering lifestyle of these intriguing and secretive creatures and considers the ecological and economic impact of the beaver reintroductions. In beautiful prose and with considerable empathy for life in the wild, Crumley considers the future for Britain’s beavers and makes the case for giving them their freedom.

Praise for Nature’s Architect

The best nature writer working in Britain today
Los Angeles Times.

Tinglingly readable… Crumley’s distinctive voice carries you with him on his dawn forays and sunset vigils
Herald

Conveys the wonder of the natural world… with honesty and passion
Scottish Review of Books

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25694383-nature-s-architect

The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood

Birlinn, September 2011

Jim Crumley - The Great Wood

The Great Wood of Caledon – the historic native forest of Highland Scotland – has a reputation as potent and misleading as the wolves that ruled it. The popular image is of an impassable, sun-snuffing shroud, a Highlandswide jungle infested by wolf, lynx, bear, beaver, wild white cattle, wild boar, and wilder painted men. Jim Crumley shines a light into the darker corners of the Great Wood, to re-evaluate some of the questionable elements of its reputation, and to assess the possibilities of its partial resurrection into something like a national forest. The book threads a path among relict strongholds of native woodland, beginning with a soliloquy by the Fortingall Yew, the one tree in Scotland that can say of the heyday of the Great Wood 5,000 years ago: ‘I was there.’ The journey is enriched by vivid wildlife encounters, a passionate and poetic account that binds the slow dereliction of the past to an optimistic future.

 

Praise for The Great Wood

Crumley gives unique insight into the rich history of this land.
Scottish Field

Crumley’s greatest talent lies in his ability to convey genuine sympathy for the wildlife he observes, and a somehow calming sense that, however much mankind might like to think itself above all that, we re really all just part and parcel of the same continuum
The Stirling Observer

[His] passion for the natural world reverberates to the core of his being, and he writes about it with the style of a poet
The Herald

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13142087-the-great-wood

The Eagle’s Way

Saraband, March 2014

Jim Crumley - The Eagles Way

Eagles, more than any other bird, spark our imaginations. These magnificent creatures encapsulate the majesty and wildness of Scottish nature. But change is afoot for the eagles of Scotland: the golden eagles are now sharing the skies with sea eagles after a successful reintroduction programme.

In The Eagle’s Way, Jim Crumley exploits his years of observing these spectacular birds to paint an intimate portrait of their lives and how they interact with each other and the Scottish landscape. Combining passion, beautifully descriptive prose and the writer’s 25 years of experience, ‘The Eagle’s Way’ explores the ultimate question – what now for the eagles? – making it essential reading for wildlife lovers and eco-enthusiasts.

Praise for The Eagle’s Way

The Eagle’s Way, is surely one of modern natural history writing’s masterpieces.
The Great Outdoors

Crumley is quite exceptional. Jim’s writing is absolutely authentic; his arguments vested with the power of heartfelt sincerity; his life devoted to the vital subjects he studies, expresses so finely, and opens up to our wider understanding in the context of a better and more humane planetary future.
Viewpoint

Jim Crumley soars with eagles and we watch with our mouths open, not just because the presence of the eagle fills us with awe but the virtuoso writing does, too. All Jim Crumley’s books come from an intelligence drawn from place
BBC Countryfile

Crumley conveys the feelings involved; the excitement, the joy, the wonder of the natural world at its wildest with honesty and passion
Scottish Review of Books

A soaring triumph
Stirling Observer

Jeff Connor

Jeff Connor
Jeff Connor lives in Edinburgh, and is currently rugby correspondent for the Mail on Sunday. He is the author of almost a dozen books, including a widely-acclaimed insight into the Tour de France – Wide-Eyed and Legless (Simon & Schuster) – and The Philosophy of Risk (Canongate), a biography of mountaineer Dougal Haston.

Books by Jeff Connor

wide-eyed-and-legless
Wide-Eyed and Legless: Inside the Tour de France
In 1987, the Tour was won by Irishman Stephen Roche. It was the first time the champion had hailed from outside the Continent or the States and the first time in 20 years a British team – ANC Halfords – had competed in the world’s toughest and craziest race. Jeff Connor not only stayed with the British team but also found himself an unofficial team member.
In this long-awaited new edition of Wide-Eyed and Legless, now widely regarded as a classic, Connor describes what it takes to compete, survive and win during those 26 days of gruelling effort. Alongside the heroism and athleticism, he reveals the extraordinary amounts of chicanery, from pulling riders along to illicit drug use.
Time has not dimmed the impact of this eye-opening and entertaining close-up look at the supreme endurance event, and Wide-Eyed and Legless is destined to be acclaimed by a new generation of cycling enthusiasts.
World Rights: Mainstream Publishing

pointless
Pointless a season with Britain’s worst senior football side.
Finishing bottom of the Scottish Third Division two years in succession – and amassing just eight points in season 2003-2004 – how will the mighty East Stirlingshire fair this year? A unique insight into a truly unique football club, Pointless will make you laugh, cry and cringe in equal measure.

Short-listed for the National Sporting Club’s ‘Best Biography’
Bracing [and] comic…The supporting cast is direct from the latest Mike Leigh film’ – The Times
An intriguing story…As the publisher’s blurb says (for once accurately), it’s “funny, sad and heartwarming‘ – Daily Telegraph
This is journalist Jeff Connor’s sympathetic but still painfully amusing account of another calamitous year in East Stirling’s long and inglorious history’ – Daily Mail
Paperback publication: April 2006
Publication Date: August 2005
World Rights: Headline

the-lost-babes
The Lost Babes: Manchester United and the Legacy of Munich
The definitive story of the Busby Babes and the repercussions of the Munich Air Disaster.
February 6, 1958, the day that eight Manchester United players died on a German airfield, is a date etched forever in the annals of sporting tragedy. The Busby Babes were already enshrined in legend before the air crash, but Munich in many ways earned them immortality. They have never grown old. Jeff Connor examines the lives of – arguably – the greatest Manchester United side of all time.
Betting men should seize the obviously generous odds for a riveting new work to hold off all comers for the next 11 months and be proclaimed sports book of 2006 at Christmas … Jeff Connor’s spare and clinically crafted reporter’s skill masks his anger and enhances the harrowingly drawn-out aftermath of the tragedy – and the illustrious club’s shoddily neglectful part in it.’ – Frank Keating, The Guardian
A thorough, and thoroughly moving, piece of work’ – Daily Telegraph
Publication Date: February 2006
World Rights: HarperCollins

field-of-fire-w

Field of Fire: A Summer of Suffering on the Tour de France
In 1987, a British-based team competed in the Tour de France for the first time in almost two decades. The team, the cream of the UK’s road racers, under the banner of ANC-Halfords, left Britain with high hopes and reasonable expectations, but the romance of the world’s greatest bike race turned into a nightmare. The ANC squad were decimated by the punishing pace, the manager walked out during one of the Alpine stages, five of the nine riders and some of the staff never made it to Paris and most of the personnel went unpaid. ANC were the definitive innocents abroad and it became one of the great sporting misadventures of all time. If that wasn’t bad enough for ANC, on the Tour’s first day in Berlin the riders and staff discovered that a tabloid journalist would be travelling with them for the full three weeks. Jeff Connor’s account of the Tour, Wide-Eyed and Legless, became a classic and was later voted number one in Cycle Sport’s list of the best cycling books of all time.

Now, 25 years on, Connor revisits the scene of the crime, tracks down the 1987 participants and discovers exactly how their fortunes were changed, some irrevocably, on the ‘field of fire’. Drawing on interviews with those involved in the ANC team and flashbacks to 1987, Field of Fire tells a moving tale of sporting disillusionment, heartbreak, anger – and humour.
World Volume Rights: Mainstream

once-were-lions
Once Were Lions: The Players’ Stories
Drawing on first hand interviews from more than 75 British Lions tourists since the golden age of the fifties, this book captures what it means to be a British Lions rugby player – the historic victories, the glorious failures and the stories surrounding the icons of rugby such as Edwards, Bennett, Hastings, Guscott, Dallaglio and Johnson.
World Volume Rights: Harpercollins
Jeff Connor is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Stan – stan@jennybrownassociates.com

Angus Calder

Angus Calder

Angus Calder was a prolific author, poet, critic, editor, historian and journalist. He took a degree in English from King’s College, Cambridge and a doctorate on Second World War British politics from the University of Sussex. He spent 14 years as a Staff Tutor in Arts with the Open University in Scotland, retiring in 1993 with the title Reader in Cultural Studies. Though throughout his life he taught over the world, spending time at several African universities in particular, he remained – and remains – a highly notable commentator on Scotland’s literature, history, politics and the very nature of ‘Scottishness’.

Angus’s first book, The People’s War: Britain 1939-1945, was published in 1969 and won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewllyn Rhys Prize in 1970. It has been in print ever since, challenging conventional perceptions of wartime Britain, and this flavour of revisionism continued throughout his writings, in later works such as Revolutionary Empire (1981), a survey of the rise of the English-speaking empires from the fifteenth-century to the American War of Independence, and The Myth of the Blitz (1991), demonstrating common understandings of Britain’s Blitz heroism to be mostly based on propaganda. A talented poet, he won a Gregory Award in 1967 and brought out his first collection of poems, Waking in Waikato, in 1995, followed by a book of poems about Edinburgh, Sun behind the Castle, in 2004. Angus was co-editor of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature from 1981 to 1987, an adjudicator to the Saltire Book Awards and a key figure in the establishment of the Scottish Poetry Library.

The Literary Estate of Angus Calder is represented by Jenny. For all enquiries contact jenny@jennybrownassociates.com