Brodie by Gillian Shirreffs (Paperback)

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Brodie by Gillian Shirreffs (Paperback)

£10.99

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Description

Brodie by Gillian Shirreffs

Published by: Into Books
ISBN: 9781916311268
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Publication: 8 October 2023

A 30-year journey of love, loss, and the perils of being an object in a human world.

Brodie is the irresistible story of six women whose lives intertwine over three decades, told by Brodie, the beloved object that connects them all.
On a spring day in 1988, Sandra Galbraith runs her long, curious fingers over a bookshelf tightly packed with the titles of her favourite writer, Muriel Spark. She’s on a quest to find the perfect birthday gift for her niece, Violet, and plucks Brodie, a pristine, new copy of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, from a neat cluster of identikit books.

Brodie adores Violet and, over the next two years, hidden in plain sight, learns family secrets of betrayal and a double life. When Violet leaves for university, her brother kidnaps Brodie to give to his disinterested love interest. On the thirty-year journey that follows, Brodie passes through hands and lives and is witness to death, sex, and a wicked stepmother.

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TESTIMONIES

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“Written in a razor-sharp voice that is both playful and beguiling, Gillian Shirreffs’ Brodie is a subtle exploration of the world through objects. The novel draws on Muriel Spark’s iconic text, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, but Brodie is more than a tribute or an entre into the world of Spark. This is an original novel which will draw readers who know what it is to fall deeply in love with a book. It is both a transcending read and a love letter to the power of literature. ”
Louise Welsh
Author of nine novels including the multiple award-winning, The Cutting Room, and Professor of Creative Writing at Glasgow University

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“An intricate, stylish novel that illuminates the world of its unusual narrator through tender, flowing prose. I found Brodie a fascinating and moving read. Shirreffs is a bright Spark indeed!”
Zoë Strachan
Award winning author of Negative Space, Spin Cycle, and Ever Fallen in Love

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“Charming, unusual and poignant – the intriguing concept of a book observing human relationships as it passes from one “guardian” to another. The book’s thirty-year-long journey encompasses celebration, loss, theft and death.”
Olga Wojtas
Journalist and former Scottish editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement whose novels include the Miss Blaine’s Prefect Series

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“Gillian Shirreffs’ Brodie is a must read for any Muriel Spark lover. 
I consider Gillian Shirreffs a Muriel Spark for the 21st century. The writing in her first novel, Brodie, is exquisitely crafted and observed, and witty too. This wonderful novel is narrated by the somewhat opinionated Brodie, who is a copy of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, who will entertain from first page. Through Brodie we can witness but seemingly not physically impact the world we inhabit, and this novel could be considered an illuminating meditation on chronic illness too. But here’s the trick, books come to life in our imagination and often change us irrevocably. This is particularly true of Brodie (book and narrator) who is rendered with attitude, grace, and opinion by Shirreffs. This is a book to relish, that will take pride of place on your bookshelf, and it’s a book that should be gifted and passed from hand to hand, so we can remember how we can be changed by what we read, by what we are encouraged to imagine.”
Dr Elizabeth Reeder
Writer and academic whose novels include An Archive of Happiness, Ramshackle, and Fremont

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Gillian Shirreffs is a Glasgow-based writer and researcher who has a Doctor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. In her thesis she explored the relationship between object and illness, with specific reference to multiple sclerosis. The creative element of her doctorate is Brodie, a novel narrated by an object. The idea for this method of interrogation came during months of bed rest. Gillian’s work has appeared in thi wurd magazine, The Interpreter’s House, The Polyphony, The Common Breath, and in the anthologies Tales from a Cancelled Country and Alternating Current, amongst others. In a former life she was an HR director, living and working on both sides of the Atlantic. In another former life, she was an English teacher.

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