Joanna Kavenna - A Field Guide to Reality - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £14.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781780872292
    • Publication date:07 Jul 2016
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781784293116
    • Publication date:07 Jul 2016

A Field Guide to Reality

By Joanna Kavenna
Illustrated by Oly Ralfe

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A conceptual tour de force and a satire of pseudo-philosophy and literary devices, from the brilliantly comic ironist and Granta Best of Young British author

'Smart, strange, coping with death through Light' Margaret Atwood
'Extraordinary, wise, funny, adventurous' A. L. Kennedy
'So utterly startling and inventive, it's almost an act of resistance' Miriam Toews
'I couldn't put it down. A cult following seems certain' Literary Review
'Refreshing as well as disconcerting to read a novel that sets aside convention so resolutely' Guardian
'Opts to push the boundaries of what the novel is' Telegraph
'A comic metaphysical thriller' Scotland on Sunday

In this darkly ironic novel - a quest for truth, a satire, an elegy - Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the death of those we love. Beautiful, ethereal drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting journey through time, space and human understanding.

Biographical Notes

Joanna Kavenna (Author)
Joanna Kavenna is the author of The Ice Museum, Inglorious (which won the Orange Prize for New Writing), The Birth of Love, Come to the Edge and A Field Guide to Reality. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, Spectator, London Review of Books and New York Times and she has held writing fellowships at St Antony's College Oxford and St John's College Cambridge. In 2011 she was named as one of the Telegraph's 20 Writers Under 40 and in 2013 was listed as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Oly Ralfe (Illustrator)
Oly Ralfe is an artist, film-maker and musician. He collaborated with The Mighty Boosh and has recorded four music albums as Ralfe Band, including the soundtrack to the film Bunny and The Bull. His documentary films and music videos have won several awards.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780872322
  • Publication date: 04 May 2017
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: riverrun
A Field Guide to Reality is an extraordinary, wise, funny, adventurous and hallucinogenic book that combines fiction with gleefully warped fact. Kavenna explores the complex nature of reality and perception with vast imaginative energy and a generous spirit. — A. L. Kennedy
A novel so utterly startling and inventive, it's almost an act of resistance. Joanna Kavenna is a true literary insurgent: bravely unconventional and ruthless in her quest to demonstrate the possibility of deep, distinctive experience. — Miriam Toews
A gripping mystery story, a sprightly tour through Western philosophy, and a thoughtful investigation of the meaning of life, death and the universe. A beautifully written novel — Apostolos Doxiadis, author of Logicomix
A Field Guide To Reality is not only weird but rather wonderful; extremely ambitious, inventive and written with a sure lightness of touch. — Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail
A sophisticated [...] roman des idées, part Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, part Gulliver's Travels . . . Fascinating . . . An engagingly artless off-the-cuff freshness . . . I couldn't put it down. A cult following seems certain. — David Collard, Literary Review
If Lewis Carroll was parodying intellectual fashions with his curious characters, Kavenna is here leading the reader playfully through the paradoxes of the quantum universe . . . It is refreshing as well as disconcerting to read a novel that sets aside convention so resolutely, and to encounter a heroine who is so quirky, curious and clever on her quest through the quantum Wonderland — Suzi Feay, Guardian
A bizarre and delightful journey into the sheer strangeness of what is . . . It opts to push the boundaries of what the novel is, playfully borrowing from other forms and genres. The whole thing is visually and formally offbeat . . . peppered with odd, dark and charming illustrations by Oly Ralfe . . . A fascinating novel. Kavenna's writing tends toward the gravely lyrical . . . One of the great charms of her prose is the humour with which she leavens it. Sly remarks fall like leering winks from a widow . . . Incredibly beautiful — Sofia Laing, Telegraph
The 'novel of ideas' here has tended to work best by wit, by wryness and by irony . . . There is a very English kind of surrealism at play in this novel . . . This novel of Roger Bacon and baked beans, a comic metaphysical thriller, is a nebulous and sharp delight — Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday
Defying genres and expectations, Joanna Kavenna opens a Pandora's Box of abstruse ideas while sending up life in ivory towers. Relentless in terms of genre - one minute campus comedy, the next elegaic wistfulness, bemused one minute and enthrallingly enlightened the next - perfectly mirrors the novel's major theme — Stuart Kelly, Scotsman
A work of cunning misdirection and trickery - a mystery in thrall to mystery's beauty . . . That it proves so entertaining is testament not only to Kavenna's skill, but also her enthusiasm. This is a novel charged with a vital and distinctly unfashionable faith in the wonder and plurality of knowledge itself . . . For all its lightness of touch, its energy and humour, this is a work concerned with darkness of a very different kind: grief. . . [for which] like the investigations into light that weave their way through this strange and charming novel, there are no easy formulae. — Sam Byers, Spectator
I will happily read anything by Joanna Kavenna - she's brilliant, funny, and wildly original . . . It's a brilliant intellectual firework display — Saga Magazine
Ralfe's work fills pages and muscles in on the text - it pushes words to one side, or streaks behind them, but it is never intrusive, nor gratuitous. Kavenna's book would be much less affecting, much less beautiful, without them — Samuel Graydon, Times Literary Supplement
Oxford inspires dark supernatural novels with Dust . . . A Field Guide to Reality: smart, strange, coping with death through Light — Margaret Atwood
MacLehose Press

Homeland or Death

Alberto Barrera Tyszka
Authors:
Alberto Barrera Tyszka
MacLehose Press

Children of the Ghetto

Elias Khoury
Authors:
Elias Khoury

Jo Fletcher Books

The Pyramid Wish

Tom Fletcher
Authors:
Tom Fletcher

Quercus

A World on Fire

James Heneage
Authors:
James Heneage
Quercus

The Love Factory

Elaine Proctor
Authors:
Elaine Proctor

You can control want, but desire controls youA smart, sexy, witty novel about love and desire, and how losing everything can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened to youAnna is a writer whose small but perfectly formed novels sell zip. When she falls on hard times and tries her hand at erotic fiction, she faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she's a wife and mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she's never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother - wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton - knows more than she does about true passion. A romance-writing workshop doesn't help, so Anna turns to her friends for inspiration. As secrets and desires are revealed, Anna discovers more about the people close to her than she ever knew. When Cordelia, a romance-writing classmate, suggests she borrows an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up to Anna and The Love Factory - a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories - is born. And yet Anna knows that she can't rely on borrowed passion and an alter ego forever. For her tales to truly sizzle, she needs to find a proper love of her own.

riverrun

The Italian Teacher

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman
riverrun

The Runner

Peter May
Authors:
Peter May

THE PENULTIMATE NOVEL IN THE CHINA SERIES, FROM THE RICHARD AND JUDY MILLION-SELLING AUTHOR OFTHE BLACKHOUSE.THE SUFFERERA prodigious Chinese swimmer kills himself on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. Days later, a champion weightlifter suffers a fatal heart attack prior to competition.THE LISTENERDetective Li Yan senses a conspiracy surrounding the fatalities, and finds a female athlete willing to talk. But she will only trust one person: Li's fiancée, Margaret Campbell.THE RUNNERWhen Campbell's contact herself vanishes, the gun is fired on a race against time. And Li must now outrun, and outwit, an enemy bent on pushing him beyond endurance.(P)2017 Quercus Editions Limited

Jo Fletcher Books

The Doctor Thomas Bond Omnibus

Sarah Pinborough
Authors:
Sarah Pinborough

The complete Mayhem and Murder series by the Number One bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes. Jack the Ripper may be making the headlines, but another, much more dangerous, madman is loose on the streets.When a rotting torso is discovered in the vault of New Scotland Yard, it doesn't take Dr Thomas Bond, Police Surgeon, long to realise that there is a second killer at work in the city where, only a few days before, Jack the Ripper brutally murdered two women in one night. This is the hand of a colder killer, one who lacks Jack's emotion. As more headless and limbless torsos find their way into the Thames Dr Bond becomes obsessed with finding the killer. As his investigations lead him into an unholy alliance, he starts to wonder:Is it a man who has brought mayhem to the streets of London, or a monster?'A compulsively readable story that starts as a conventional murder mystery and morphs, by degrees, into a horrifying supernatural thriller' Guardian

Quercus

The Berlin Noir Series

Philip Kerr
Authors:
Philip Kerr
riverrun

The Secret of Vesalius

Jordi Llobregat
Authors:
Jordi Llobregat
Quercus

Myths in Minutes

Neil Philip
Authors:
Neil Philip

The world's great fables, sagas and legends dramatically retold.Myths are the greatest stories ever told. Passed down over millennia, they are the templates for all our stories, with their eternal themes of creation and destruction, fate and cunning, heroism and cruelty, sensuality and war. Retold here are nearly 200 myths - from Prometheus defying Zeus to create man to the destruction of Troy; and from valiant battles against Frost Giants and Cyclopes to the heroic quests for the Golden Fleece and Holy Grail - including a commentary on their origins, common themes and meanings. Compellingly written, concise and with each myth illustrated with an iconic image, Myths in Minutes is the perfect way to understand and enjoy the world's major fables. Includes the great Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian legends: The Labours of Heracles; The Gods of Olympus; Zeus defeats the Titans; Hades and the Underworld; Theseus and the Minotaur; The Gorgons; Perseus and Andromeda; Oedipus and the Sphinx; The Judgment of Paris; The Trojan Horse; The Odyssey; Jason and The Golden Fleece; Romulus, Remus and the Founding of Rome; Mars, the God of War; The Eye of Ra; The Murder and Resurrection of Osiris; and more.The best of Celtic, Norse, Eastern, American, Oceanic and African myths: Gilgamesh and the Great Flood; Odin's Great Sacrifice; Thor's Adventures in the Land of the Giants; The Treachery of Loki; Ragnarok - The Last Battle; The Eight Immortals; The War Between the Sun and the Stars; Quetzalcoatl, The Plumed Serpent; Ganesh, the Elephant-headed; Ananse and the Sky God; King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; the age-old stories of the Aboriginal Dreaming; and many; many more.

Quercus

The Reading Group

Della Parker
Authors:
Della Parker

'Brims with laughs, love, family and friendship. You will love this heartwarming read!' Trisha Ashley, Sunday Times bestselling author.Meet the Reading Group: Grace, Anne-Marie, Kate, Jojo and Serena, as different as can be but who you can count on in good times and bad. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red! Each month they meet in Serena's beautiful cliff-top cottage to discuss a good book - and their lives, which are sometimes stranger than fiction! Between new loves and old flames, cheating husbands and wayward children, there's always a surprise around the corner...A laugh-out-loud tale of friendship, loyalty and love. Perfect for fans of Jo Thomas and Lucy Diamond.

Quercus

The Eternal City

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa

A heart-warming tale of sibling rivalry, secrets, love and death, steeped in local colour and noise and tender in its depiction of family at their worst, and at their best from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. 'Witty and as light as a tiramisu but with tart insight on sibling rivalry' Nottingham Evening PostGaby, the youngest of the de Angelis sisters, always secretly knew she was her father Enzo's favourite; so when Enzo dies on the day her own daughter is born, her life is turned upside down. In the emotional aftermath of the funeral, it emerges that her father has asked that his ashes be taken back his native city, Rome. Suddenly, Gaby and her new family are thrown headfirst into the wider de Angelis clan, and all of their conflicting ideas and opinions. As the family journeys to Rome to say a final goodbye to Enzo, emotions run high; but none higher than Gaby's, as she comes face to face with the man she once thought she would marry, and is forced to question everything of which, until now, she was so sure.

Quercus

Prussian Blue

Philip Kerr
Authors:
Philip Kerr

The twelfth book in the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling series, perfect for fans of John le Carre. Lee Child calls Bernie Gunther 'one of the greatest anti-heroes ever written'.France, 1956. Bernie Gunther is on the run. If there's one thing he's learned, it's never to refuse a job from a high-ranking secret policeman. But this is exactly what he's just done. Now he's a marked man, with the East German Stasi on his tail.Fleeing across Europe, he remembers the last time he worked with his pursuer: in 1939, to solve a murder at the Berghof, Hitler's summer hideaway in the Bavarian Alps. Hitler is long dead, the Berghof now a ruined shell, and the bizarre time Bernie spent there should be no more than a distant memory.But as he pushes on to Berlin and safety, Bernie will find that no matter how far he thinks he has put Nazi Germany behind him, for him it will always be unfinished business. The Berghof is not done with Bernie yet.

Quercus

How To Understand E =mc²

Christophe Galfard
Authors:
Christophe Galfard
riverrun

At the Strangers' Gate

Adam Gopnik
Authors:
Adam Gopnik
MacLehose Press

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye: Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series

David Lagercrantz
Authors:
David Lagercrantz
riverrun

Basket of Deplorables

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman
Quercus

To Siri, With Love

Judith Newman
Authors:
Judith Newman

'Incredibly moving' Daily Mail'To Siri with Love is a beautifully honest and illuminating love letter to Gus, your typical atypical nonneurotypical human.' Jon Stewart'A moving and witty memoir with a big heart.' Nigella Lawson'An uncommonly riotous and moving book [that] will make readers laugh - yes, out loud - before sweeping them, finally, into a soul-spilling high tide . . . Technology's great promise may in fact be to summon, capture and display our most human qualities, both the darkness and the light, to pave avenues of deepened connections with others.' New York TimesWriter Judith Newman never had any illusions that her family was 'normal'. She and her husband keep separate apartments-his filled with twin grand pianos as befits a former opera singer; hers filled with the clutter and chaos of twin adolescent boys conceived late in life. And one of those boys is Gus, her sweet, complicated, autistic 13-year-old.With refreshing honesty, To Siri With Love chronicles one year in the life of Gus and the family around him -- a family with the same crazy ups and downs as any other. And at the heart of the book lies Gus's passionate friendship with Siri, Apple's 'intelligent personal assistant'. Unlike her human counterparts, Siri always has the right answers to Gus's incessant stream of questions about the intricacies of national rail schedules, or box turtle varieties, and she never runs out of patience. She always makes sure Gus enunciates and even teaches him manners by way of her warm yet polite tone and her programmed insistence on civility.Equal parts funny and touching, this is a book that will make your heart brim, and then break it. Warm, wise and always honest, Judith Newman shows us a new world where artificial intelligence is beginning to meet emotional intelligence -- a world that will shape our children in ways both wonderful and unexpected.

riverrun

Snakehead

Peter May
Authors:
Peter May

THE FOURTH CHINA THRILLER, FROM THE MILLION-SELLING PETER MAY - AUTHOR OF THE RICHARD AND JUDY BESTSELLER THE BLACKHOUSE.SUFFOCATEDA vehicle crammed with dozens of dead Chinese immigrants is found in southern Texas. Pathologist Margaret Campbell must put aside her horror, and find out why. SUMMONEDDetective Li Yan - an even more unwelcome memory for Campbell - has arrived stateside to investigate a link in the case to a lucrative trade in illegal labourers. SNAKEHEADLi and Campbell will soon find that the crime scene hides another secret: a biological time bomb linking traffickers, politicians and migrants in Beijing, Washington and Texas - posing multiple countries one, very singular, threat.