ONLY A SIGNAL SHOWN
A novel covering the last three decades of the twentieth century. Eleanor Larsen-Bruun falls in love with Alec Jenkins at university and they begin an affair, but she’s forced to give him up in order to discover what she is truly capable of. She knows she could never be content merely to be Alec’s wife and supporter, a style of life she witnesses when they visit Alec’s expatriate uncle and aunt in Nigeria. Eleanor must find out if her sketching can lead to a successful and fulfilling career.
This story has several layers and deep emotional secrets are uncovered. In Alec’s dysfunctional family, his mother clearly despises Eleanor in the beginning and his father suffers from terrible nightmares caused by his fighting in the Monte Cassino campaign during the Second World War. Alec’s brother – the charismatic clown of the family – is a bitter childhood rival but eventually comes to defend him. These and other threads are skilfully drawn together as the novel concludes.
There have been several reviews of this – read my blog to find out more.
Cruise missiles in the 1980s are the ominous background to this novel, set amongst Quakers in a university city, but in her first novel Leela Dutt is more interested in personal tensions – tunnel vision leading to hereditary blindness, neighbours who persecute children, burst pipes, sweet chestnuts and funerals. Like the squares on Rubik’s cube, the pattern becomes entangled: a foreign submarine is sighted in the Bristol Channel on the day a child is knocked off his bike, a peace camp is attacked as an old man lies ill in hospital.
So many people have recently said how much they enjoyed this book, which was published in 1984, that it would be great if a publisher could bring out a second edition - any ideas?
There are still a few copies of this left - EMAIL ME
First published in 1996, this is an anthology of eight short stories involving fictional contemporary Quakers. The stories are all written in the first person and are told by a wide variety of men and women, often outsiders, ranging in age from 22 to 90. They are set in Canada and Wales, in England and Outer Space. Kate Attfield’s line drawings add enormous charm to this book. The last story, 'I Shall Spend My Pension on Brandy', has been updated and appears again in my new collection of short stories which Bridge House are publishing next year, 2022, under the title Fresh Beginnings. Another story from Kingfisher Blue, The Ocarina, also appears in Fresh Beginnings.
There are still some copies of Kingfisher Blue left so do email me if you'd like one for £3. Amazon also has a few copies.
Imagine a computer program so intelligent that it can write a novel… This is the powerful story of one family throughout the twentieth century, involving an Indian home in Calcutta before the First World War, a Jewish dentist in Nuremberg in the 1930s and an artificial intelligence research unit in a contemporary British university.
The story moves from Golders Green via South Wales to Los Angeles. A Quaker business meeting in Germany in 1936 is interwoven with a Quaker weekend gathering of the mid-1990s as two parallel storylines starting at either end of the century gradually converge.
email me if you would lilke a copy
All books can be purchased by contacting me on the form provided below and any payments can be made securely through PayPal. The cost is £3 each for Rubik's Cube, Mathison, or Kingfisher Blue. I could also supply Only a Signal Shown for £8. Postage £2 for each parcel. If you want more than one copy of Only a Signal Shown you can also order it from Feed a Read.