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WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FICTION PRIZE, THE COMMONWEALTH WRITERS’ PRIZE AND THE PEN/MACMILLAN SILVER PEN AWARD
From Comrade Shakespeare McNab who enlists the help of La Diablesse to retrieve his faltering career at a Caribbean broadcasting station, to the fourteen year old English girl who develops a terror of infinity; from the electrifying description of a woman attacked as she lies sleeping, to the lyrical exploration of the myths of El Dorado, Pauline Melville lures the reader into intriguing different worlds. The sheer malevolence of everyday life is offset with hilarity, making the stories in Shape-shifter both unsettling and funny.
About the Author
Pauline Melville is the author of two short story collections and two novels. Her first novel, The Ventriloquist's Tale (1997) won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Shape-Shifter (Telegram) won the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writer's Prize and the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award. She has worked as an actress, appearing in films such as Mona Lisa and British television programmes including the BBC Television comedy series The Young Ones. She currently lives in London.
'Notably sharp, funny and orginal, part Caribbean magic, part London grime, written in a slippery, chameleon language that is a frequent delight.'
'An exceptionally talented writer of prose fiction ... Melville's descriptive powers are especially acute.'
Times Literary Supplement
'With immense verve and skill [Melville] shows how the English language has been taken over and transformed by those people whose ancestors were forced to speak it. A very impressive and enjoyable first book.'