The Outside Lands (Paperback)Hannah Kohler (author)
- In stock online
'Astonishing - jagged, fresh and startlingly alive' Daily Mail
Jeannie is nineteen when the world changes, Kip only fourteen. The sudden accident that robs them of their mother leaves them adrift, with only their father to guide them. Jeannie seeks escape in work and later marriage to a man whose social connections propel her into an unfamiliar world of wealth and politics. Ill-equipped and unprepared, Jeannie finds comfort where she can. Meanwhile Kip's descent into a life of petty crime is halted only when he volunteers for the Marines.
By 1968, the conflict in Vietnam is at its height, and with the anti-war movement raging at home, Jeannie and Kip are swept along by events larger than themselves, driven by disillusionment to commit unforgiveable acts of betrayal that will leave permanent scars.
The Outside Lands is the story of people caught in the slipstream of history, how we struggle in the face of loss to build our world, and how easily and with sudden violence it can be swept away. With extraordinary skill and accuracy, Hannah Kohler takes us from 1960s California to Vietnam, capturing what it means to live through historic times. This powerful debut novel announces Kohler as a remarkable new literary talent.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 262 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 22 mm
Dark, beautifully written and insightful, this is an impressive debut. * Sunday Express *
Kohler is particularly good at capturing both her protagonists' individual voices as they change and grow over time and the impact of historical events on small-town lives. She also has a quite wonderful understanding of the way Vietnam radically overturned America's assured sense of itself, while her prose is astonishing - jagged, fresh and startlingly alive. * Daily Mail *
Kohler's debut - confident and flawlessly researched - comes to represent the detrimental effect of the war on an entire generation. * Guardian *
'There's an arbitrariness to choosing any "best" book, but I'd nominate Hannah Kohler's debut novel The Outside Lands (Picador) as the "most surprising" 2016 release that I've encountered so far. In this Vietnam-era story, a California family is imploded first by private tragedy, then by the war itself. Yet the author is a Brit writing about a time before she was born. You'd never know it. Her ear for American dialogue is flawless, her historical details spot on. The quality of the writing, too, is astonishing. I wasn't exactly in the mood to re-enter the 1960s of my youth, but Kohler won me over. Should you feel a similar resistance to this oft-visited subject matter, get over it. -- Lionel Shriver * Financial Times *
The Outside Lands, a masterly retelling of those dozen capricious, war torn, love soaked and chaotic years between the Beatles first LP and the fall of Saigon, is gloriously well-written and deeply imagined - and all the more remarkable for being Hannah Kohler's fiction debut. -- Jim Crace
The Outside Lands by Hannah Kohler is a considerable achievement of exhumed history, of both the intimate family variety and that of our broader national fates. Lurking behind the private drama is the nagging question of the cost of sacrifice for a misbegotten war, an inquiry that remains as dismayingly urgent now as it was fifty years ago. But the emotional heart here is the story of one sister's extraordinary devotion, and of how modest lives can be derailed by a grievous error. The Outside Lands is a fine and moving portrait of family ties in wartime. -- Joshua Ferris
A book that is both sensitive and powerful, a marvel of historical accuracy and a riveting read. -- Donna Leon
I just finished The Outside Lands and it's been quite a ride. This book is full of visceral human truths and reminded me of an important one I've had to learn over and over again: often the choice is not between light and dark, but between different kinds of darkness. The Outside Lands is going to win prizes. -- Alice Adams
Utterly enthralling and brilliantly drawn, The Outside Lands took me from the jungles of Vietnam to the domesticity of 1960s America. Hannah Kohler is a remarkable talent. -- Emma Chapman
[Hannah Kohler] has created an intelligent, compelling story, and is definitely one to watch out for. * Media Eye *