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Professor’s Sussex-set novel to be published in her homeland

A University of Chichester professor is celebrating the news that a major publishing house will publish her new novel in her native Canada.

Alison MacLeod’s third novel, Unexploded, is due for release in the UK in September and, thanks to a separate deal with Hamish Hamilton Canada, an imprint of Penguin, readers in Alison’s native country will be able to enjoy the book too.

Alison was raised in Canada and has lived in England in 1987.  She returns to Canada twice a year to see family.

Nicole Winstanley at Penguin Canada said, “Alison MacLeod’s Unexploded captivated us from its very first pages with its intimacy and immediacy. It is a deeply thoughtful exploration of family, love, loyalty, war and the power of art, and at the same time it is an incredibly engaging read.

“It is a great honour to shepherd this novel to Canadian readers and to have it on our boutique literary imprint, Hamish Hamilton Canada, which houses luminaries from around the world including Jim Crace, Zadie Smith, Philip Roth, Miguel Syjuco and Helen Oyeyemi.”

Set in Brighton in 1940, Unexploded follows Geoffrey and Evelyn Beaumont and their eight-year-old son Philip.  The enemy is expected to land on the beaches of Brighton any day, making it a year of tension, change, and anticipation. Geoffrey becomes Superintendent of the local enemy alien camp. Philip is gripped by rumours that Hitler will make Brighton’s Royal Pavilion his English HQ, and Evelyn quietly struggles to fall in with the war effort.  Then she meets Otto Gottlieb, a ‘degenerate’ German-Jewish painter.  Love collides with fear, the power of art with the forces of war, and the lives of Evelyn, Otto and Geoffrey are changed irrevocably.

Alison’s previous novels The Changeling and The Wave Theory of Angels have received wide acclaim and her short story collection Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction was named as one of the ‘Top Ten Books to Talk About’ in 2009 in association with World Book Day.

Her story ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’, which was nominated for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2011, is one of the titles available on a free new iPhone app called ‘Gimbal’, a collaborative project between Comma Press and Literature Across Frontiers. You can find more about the app at: www.letsgimbal.com.

Unexploded is published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin UK on September 5th. You can pre-order it here: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/alison+macleod/unexploded/7653885/

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