Helen Dunmore, who died in 2017, was widely recognised as one of the most acclaimed and talented writers of her generation; in their obituary, the Guardian described her as a ‘poet and novelist with a flair for reinvention and making history human’.
The author of novels, short stories, numerous books for young adults and children and poetry, Dunmore first made her name with her 1988 poetry collection The Raw Garden. As a novelist, her works include: A Spell of Winter (which won the 1996 Orange Prize), The Siege (which was shortlisted for the Orange and Whitbread Prizes), The Betrayal (longlisted for the Booker Prize), Exposure and her last novel Birdcage Walk. Her other works include the Ingo Chronicles fantasy series for children and poetry collections The Malarkey and Inside the Wave which won the 2017 Costa Book of the Year Award. Released posthumously, Girl, Balancing and Other Stories was published in 2018.
Winner of the Costa Book of the Year for her final collection, Inside the Wave, Helen Dunmore was as spellbinding a storyteller in her poetry as in her prose. Many of her haunting narratives draw us into darkness, engaging our fears and hopes in poetry of rare luminosity, while all her poetry also casts a bright, revealing light on the living world, by land and sea, on love, longing and loss.
Counting Backwards is a retrospective covering ten collections written over four decades, bringing together all the poems she included in her earlier selection, Out of the Blue (2001), with all those from her three later collections, Glad of These Times (2007), The Malarkey (2012) and Inside the Wave (2017), along with a number of additional poems from her earlier collections.
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