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The Death of the Poet

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Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

The Death of the Poet

N Quentin Woolf

When you swear to love, to be faithful, or to do your duty, how does that promise bind you?

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847659477 (4 Apr 2014)

About the book

John Knox falls passionately and irrevocably in love with Rachel McAllistair the first time they meet. He interviews her for his radio show, and afterwards, when he tells her how impressive she was, she hits him, square on the jaw. Undeterred, he pursues her, promising to love her and never to leave her.

This promise becomes his burden, as her behaviour whirls out of control. She is abusive and cruel. And yet he stays. Even when she does something so awful that his life is changed forever. And that point, on which his life turns, leads him to an unexpected connection with a man who suffered a terrible injury in the first world war.

The Death of the Poet is a daringly honest, transfixing story about being in thrall to someone, being a victim and a protector, and how early promise can turn into an utterly unrecognisable life. An exploration of violence and what it means to be a man in the modern world, it's controversial, devastating, and, in a complicated way, romantic too.

About the author

N Quentin Woolf is a writer and broadcaster, and runs a number of literary groups, including Writers' Mutual and The Writers' Lab. He is the founder of The Brick Lane Book Group, teaches at the Idler Academy and since 2012 has run a writers' retreat in France. Woolf's short fiction has been published and translated internationally, and performed at Sadler's Wells. He has featured in various guises on BBC Radio 4, runs The Wireless Reader podcast and presents a weekly talk-show for, which attracts around 13,000 visits per day and a loyal following on iTunes.


Voted one of GQ Magazine's Top Ten Novels for 2014

- GQ

You didn't so much as glance my way. You had a Winona Ryder complexion and owl glasses, and a tweed jacket that probably belonged to someone else. Kinda scatty; kinda hot. Within the hour you'd sock me in the mouth.

- From The Death of the Poet

It's a great idea taking a man who knows how to fake every encounter and forcing him to face up to the reality of uncontrollable passions, but the real coup de grace here is then opening out the story to play on a much grander scale. We don't need to know how or why we love, just that we do, and our actions resonate through life and death, time and space

- Christopher Fowler

By the end of 2014, expect to see this debut novel on a multitude of "Best of" lists... Read it now so you can look smug when the film rights are snapped up.

- GQ

A daring debut

- Independent

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

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