Black Car Burning (Paperback)
  • Black Car Burning (Paperback)
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Black Car Burning (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 336 Pages
Published: 16/07/2020
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Waterstones Says

In her extraordinary debut novel set in the sublime Peak District, Mort utilises her poetic range to incorporate themes of trust, identity and redemption into a brooding narrative about the dangerous obsessions of a group of rock climbers.

Longlisted for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2020

The debut novel from the brilliant and award-winning poet Helen Mort

Alexa is a police community support officer whose world feels unstable.

Caron, Alexa's girlfriend, is pushing her away and pushing herself even harder. A climber, she fixates on a brutal route. Leigh, who works at a local gear shop, watches Caron climb and feels complicit.

Meanwhile, an ex-police officer compulsively revisits the April day in 1989 that changed his life forever. Trapped in his memories of the disaster, he tracks the Hillsborough inquests, questioning everything.

As the young women negotiate Sheffield's violent inheritance, the rock faces of Stanage and their relationships with each other, Mort stunningly grounds these journeys of trust and trauma, fear and falling, in the texture of the urban and natural terrain underfoot.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784706630
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 240 g
Dimensions: 194 x 130 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A love letter to [Mort's] home city of Sheffield... Politics and landscape are fiercely intertwined in the history of South Yorkshire, and Mort now demonstrates that she can write as assuredly on both subjects in novel form as in her poetry... Mort, in a beautifully accomplished debut, has blended a rich alloy: a deeply felt work of loss, time and healing - Catherine Taylor, The Guardian

Black Car Burning explores the ties that bind us: literally, while strung across a cliff face in high winds, or figuratively in the tenuous bonds that hold both relationships and communities together, and which we are all responsible for maintaining. It's especially gratifying to inhabit a female-focused world within a climbing scene still party defined by machismo and male bravado. Helen Mort's writing is confident and compassionate and this is a mature and evocative debut - Ben Myers, New Statesman

Mort has reined in the poetry to write a gritty northern novel in a lean, unflashy prose, only letting herself go in lyrical interludes spoken by the landscape itself - Phil Baker, Sunday Times

Bold, imaginative…intensely realistic, swarming with minute physical and social detail… Mort writes brilliantly about the physical presence of the city, and she deals just as well with the tight focus of the climb... [Black Car Burning] is frequently exhilarating in its accurate sympathy, with some inch-perfect dialogue and astute observation throughout… Poet writes gripping novel: now there’s something you don’t hear every day - Sean O'Brien, Times Literary Supplement

An impressive, Sheffield-set tale… the disparate voices are held together by short passages in which the landscape itself is given voice. These act as welcome poetic rocks in the stream of the narrative… [and] are startling reminders of Mort’s considerable poetic skill - Jude Cook, Spectator

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“Quiet and intense read”

When I was first looking at reading this book I had a look at the first few pages and I thought to myself that here is a book that is very 'Sheffield'. As a born and bred Sheffielder that makes it great for... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

“A beautiful obsessive book”

I originally picked this book up to see what kind of representation open relationships were getting and I was not disappointed. Far from it. Far from the usual story of jealousy, Helen Mort has written a beautiful... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 4

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