Cuddy (Hardback)
  • Cuddy (Hardback)
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Cuddy (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 464 Pages
Published: 16/03/2023

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Waterstones Says

Combining prose, poetry, play, diary and real historical events, this audacious tour de force from the author of The Gallows Pole and The Perfect Golden Circle traces the story of St Cuthbert - unofficial patron saint of the North of England - through the centuries and the voices of ordinary people.

Winner of The Goldsmiths Prize 2023

The triumphant new novel from the Walter Scott Prize-winning author of The Gallows Pole and The Offing.

Cuddy is a bold and experimental retelling of the story of the hermit St. Cuthbert, unofficial patron saint of the North of England. Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras - from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the 8th century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity.

Along the way we meet brewers and masons, archers and academics, monks and labourers, their visionary voices and stories echoing through their ancestors and down the ages. And all the while at the centre sits Durham Cathedral and the lives of those who live and work around this place of pilgrimage - their dreams, desires, connections and communities.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526631503
Number of pages: 464
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

It’s been a while since I’ve reacted as emotionally to a novel ... An epic the north has long deserved: ambitious, dreamy, earthy, dark, welcoming and not ... There are readers like me who will not just enjoy this book but feel deeply grateful for its existence - FINANCIAL TIMES

A millennium-spanning polyphonic flight through history ... Myers creates characters and voices so absorbing that when the timeline jumps forward you are reluctant to leave them, only for the next protagonist to become the centre of your world until it is time to move on again. A phenomenal achievement, Cuddy is by some distance my novel of 2023 - NEW EUROPEAN

A visionary epic which covers a millennium of English history and employs poetry and prose, playscript and pastiche to trace the story of St Cuthbert, the building of Durham Cathedral and the contemporary northern landscape - GUARDIAN, Best books of the year

This bold, experimental novel, which uses poetry as much as prose, won this year’s Goldsmiths prize - THE TIMES, Books of the Year

A polyphonic hymn to a very specific landscape and its people. At the same time, it deepens his standing as an arresting chronicler of a broader, more mysterious seam of ancient folklore that unites the history of these isles as it’s rarely taught - OBSERVER

A visionary epic which covers a millennium of English history and employs poetry and prose, playscript and pastiche to trace the story of St Cuthbert, the building of Durham Cathedral and the contemporary northern landscape. - GUARDIAN, Books of the Year 2023

A genre-blending, millennia-straddling history ... A bold story about faith and nationhood that upends preconceptions of the ’’historical novel” - NEW STATESMAN, Books of the Year

Myers’ playful, form- and genre-bending tale about St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne ... The author is known for his grasp of language and elegiac take on history and the natural world – all of which are put to excellent use in a novel that spans poetry, prose, historical accounts and more - MARIE CLAIRE, The best books of 2023

A dizzyingly inventive retelling of St Cuthbert’s life - TELEGRAPH, Books of the Year

Myers is maturing into a serious writer rather than just a sombre one. Cuddy is an ambitious and accomplished novel that shows it’s not — necessarily — grim up north - THE TIMES

A bold novel that whirls us through a dizzying range of poetic and prosaic styles - Daily Telegraph, The 75 best books for summer 2023

One of the best books I have ever read, easily top 5 status … Innovative, clever, engaging and fresh – and my book of the year - NEW WRITING NORTH, What we're reading 2023

There’s much to enjoy in the novel’s linguistic beauty ... Cuddy explores the endurance of goodness and grace - SPECTATOR

A sensational piece of storytelling … The symbiosis of poetry and story, of knowledge and deep love, marks out Cuddy as a singular and significant achievement - GUARDIAN

Five atmospheric episodes – and an interlude – illustrate the mystical hold that Cuthbert has exerted over the north - STRONG WORDS, Books of the Year

Mesmerising, lyrical ... Stands in a genre of its own ... Serves as a reminder that we are but custodians of a world we inherited. Cuddy cements Myers’s standing as one of our finest, and most deftly imaginative, writers - I NEWS

Myers traces … the manifold threads of history to remarkable effect - IRISH TIMES

The cathedral is a wonder … in its elegance and grotesquery, its shimmering and its solidity, Myers captures it accurately. Indeed, that could be a description of his book - SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

As a work of literature and as a tribute to a man and his region, it will endure - INDEPENDENT.CO.UK

Marvellous, artful, enchanted ... With power and pathos, this novel follows the cult of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne from the 7th century to the present day - DAILY TELEGRAPH

One of the best books I have ever read - TESS DENMAN-CLEAVER

Brave, bold and brilliantly alive, Cuddy calls forth the voices and the places of the north in a kaleidoscopic portrait through time. Myers at his best: dark, sharp, earthy and superbly funny. Cuddy isn’t a novel, it’s an invocation - ROB COWEN, author of Common Ground

Spare, poetic, haunting, tenderly observed ... Myers is a natural storyteller ... [with] a poetic sensibility, and as a writer he enjoys the snap and crunch of words, and the way they can summon an atmosphere - PROSPECT

A wonder ... An accomplished and very moving novel - SCOTSMAN

Incorporates poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other - NORTHERN LIFE

Myers employs competing voices and different literary styles to pull together an ephemeral yet somehow tangible narrative that is both sweeping in its history and arresting in its style - YORKSHIRE LIFE

Myers chisels a cohesive and engaging portrait of a place laden with history - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

An absorbingly beautiful book ... There aren't many writers as attuned to the present state of this country and the history and landscape that made it as Myers, who succeeds repeatedly in harnessing time with compassion, kindness and a rare gift for finding the right voice for the right people in the right era - NEW EUROPEAN

Cuddy is a work of art. Ben Myers has pulled off a kind of magic trick ... Daring, expansive and deeply satisfying, Cuddy is a truly original piece of writing which weaves a special kind of magic. I was left completely spellbound. I loved every minute of this dazzling and deeply original novel - CLOVER STROUD, author of The Red of My Blood

Once again Ben Myers has built another time machine in words and I thoroughly enjoyed being humped around early medieval northern England alongside St Cuthbert's holy corpse via centuries of fisticuffs and up Durham Cathedrals tower to a sensitive take on issues of our own time. Most of all I appreciated how Myers explores faith and belief without the usual eyeroll and cynicism of our excessively secular age – I feel St Cuthbert's monks and masons looking down through history with a certain sense of pride - LUKE TURNER, author of Out of the Woods

Cuddy is another milestone marking Myers’ versatility as a writer - BUZZ

Rich, rewarding, dark and comic, Cuddy is, like that cathedral, a magnificent construction - BUZZMAG

To be able to move from the Dark Ages, to the Middle Ages, to the Victorian Era to Modern Times and so ably capture the zeitgeist of each is a rare feat of imagination - GABRIELLE DRAKE

Praise for Benjamin Myers: A writer of extraordinary and incandescent talent - ALEX PRESTON

A genre-melding experimental novel - GUARDIAN, Best Books of 2023

Here is a strong, spiritual writer who sees and loves every dewdrop, old oak, soft little animal and buried sword, and offers them up to us like the precious treasures they are - THE TIMES

No one writes about the atmosphere, beauty and brutality of the English countryside better than Benjamin Myers. And it's hard to think of many people who can write with such attentiveness, tenderness and force about the importance of human connection and the redemptive power of art - WENDY ERSKINE

One of the most interesting, restless writers of his generation - DAILY MAIL

No one writes about the atmosphere, beauty and brutality of the English countryside better than Ben Myers. And it's hard to think of many people who can write with with such attentiveness, tenderness and force about the importance of human connection and the redemptive power of art - WENDY ERSKINE

Shot through with a romantic, even mystical radicalism of the kind that William Blake would have approved of - DAILY TELEGRAPH

What a radical thing, these days, to have written a book so full of warmth and kindness ... Gorgeous - MAX PORTER

Benjamin Myers is fast making the contested boundary between history and folklore his own - JOHN MITCHINSON

A powerful new voice - GUARDIAN

Book by book, over the past decade, Ben Myers has proved himself to be one of the most singular, moving and crucial voices of our times - DAVID PEACE

A draft of cool, clear water ... He’s such a good and brave writer - MONOCLE

Powerful and moving - LITERARY REVIEW

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“A monumental work”

Benjamin Myers gets better and better. I found his earlier novels rather bleak, but he then wrote The Offing, a wonderfully sensitive coming-of-age novel set on the Yorkshire coast. In Cuddy he has made a quantum leap... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 13

“A successful blending of forms and structures”

Cuddy is an amalgamation of writing done at different times and places by Myers.
The common thread is a history of St Cuthbert and Durham cathedral but within that we have experiments with form and structure.... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 12

“A wonderful evocation of the Northern Saint Cuthbert”

I wasn’t sure what to think when I started reading this book but I knew the author and was interested in the subject matter.
Myers transports us back through time to the people whose lives were touched by Cuthbert... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 7

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