shadow-tongue

The Wake, by Paul Kingsnorth

In the case of Paul Kiwake cover_illustrationngsnorth’s extraordinary first novel, The Wake, which has been long-listed for the Mann-Booker prize, the effort is most definitely worth the reward.


One of the most unique and fiercely beautiful novels written in any language.


Set during the Norman invasion and occupation of England in 1066-68, the book is written in a “shadow-tongue”, the author’s imagined amalgamation of Old and Modern English, which proves slow-going for the first several pages and may scare off all but the most intrepid of readers. Which is a shame—the readers’ shame, not the author’s—because they may prematurely close the covers of one of the most unique and fiercely beautiful novels written in any language.

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