Scenes from Early Life
The startling new novel from the author of King of the Badgers and the Man Booker-shortlisted The Northern Clemency. "I was a baby during the war. We stayed inside for months. All my aunts took turns in feeding me. I couldn't be heard to cry. You see, there were soldiers in the streets. They would have known what a crying baby meant. So I had to be kept silent. No, not everyone came out of the war alive." One family's life, and a nation - Bangladesh - are uniquely created through conversation, sacrifice, songs, bonds, blood, bravery and jokes. Narrated by a young boy born into a savage civil war, 'Scenes from Early Life' is a heartbreaking, funny and gripping novel by one of our finest writers.
'Beautifully packed with detail ... does for Bangladesh what Salmon Rushdie did for India with Midnight's Children ... It is a remarkable re-creation of a land that most of us know little about' Sunday Times 'This is his most purely pleasurable novel to date' Daily Mail 'Highly impressive ... for all Hensher's accomplished ventriloquism - his ability to inhabit the voice of a Muslim child and a history teacher at the same time - his own voice is not lost ... heart-breaking' Guardian 'A deeply interesting book ... The joins are seamless ... It is inventive, clever and loving; a Booker candidate, I would have thought.' Spectator '...this delightful book shows for the first time what Hensher has largely concealed in the past: his heart' Amanda Craig, Independent on Sunday
Philip Hensher is a columnist for the Independent, arts critic for the Spectator and a Granta Best of Young British novelist. He has written seven novels, including The Mulberry Empire and the Booker-shortlisted The Northern Clemency, and one collection of short stories. He lives in South London.