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Graham Swift

Here We Are

Here We Are

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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 everyones 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. One to watch for 2020 according to: the Sunday Times the Times the Daily Telegraph the Guardian Financial Times Evening Standard the Scotsman the Irish Times 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 As with all his books; its the moments of quiet; undramatic poignancy that stay with you Sunday Express a quietly; devastating; magical novel Telegraph 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 Praise for Mothering Sunday: Bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes; it blazes irresistibly. . . Swifts small fiction feels like a masterpiece Guardian Alive with sensuousness and sensuality . . . wonderfully accomplished; it is an achievement Sunday Times From start to finish Swifts 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 Swifts best novel yet Observer


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