Swallowing Mercury (Hardback)
  • Swallowing Mercury (Hardback)
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Swallowing Mercury (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
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£12.99
Hardback 160 Pages / Published: 05/01/2017
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Winner of the English PEN Award

A christening shawl decorated with periwinkle and yellowed asparagus fern hung in the window of our stone house for nearly two years. It tempted me with a little rose tucked in its folds, and I would have used it as a blanket for my dolls, but my mother wouldn’t let me go near it.

‘Don’t touch the shawl, Loletka. It’s a memento. We’ll take it down when your dad gets back.’

Wiola lives in a close-knit agricultural community.

Wiola has a black cat called Blackie.

Wiola's father was a deserter but now he is a taxidermist.

Wiola's mother tells her that killing spiders brings on storms.

Wiola must never enter the seamstress's 'secret' room.

Wiola collects matchbox labels.

Wiola is a good Catholic girl brought up with fables and nurtured on superstition.

Wiola lives in a Poland that is both very recent and lost in time.

Swallowing Mercury is a coming-of-age drama about the ordinary passing of years filled with extraordinary days. In vivid prose filled with texture, colour and sound, it describes the adult world encroaching on the child's. From childhood to adolescence, Wiola dances to the strange music of her own imagination through a fast disappearing world overtaken by the passing of time.

‘Greg moves back and forth across time with a poet’s panache. It is refreshing to find a fiction writer so free of stylistic pomp, so and finely attuned to the truth of her material, a novel so sensually saturated. The full cumulative power of Greg’s prose is felt towards the end, as it accelerates alongside Wiola’s adolescence – until we are swept into the unknown.’ – The Guardian

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781846276071
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 230 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 9 mm

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Reviews

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Angie at Glasgow Sauchiehall Street

“Notes from a world very different from the one I grew up in. ”

Picked this up at work on a whim because I liked the cover and the blurb. It wasn't quite what the blurb had led me to expect somehow...perhaps it was less fanciful than I expected? It's also not really a... More

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