Heather O'Neill - The Lonely Hearts Hotel - Quercus

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  • Paperback £13.99
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    • ISBN:9781849163361
    • Publication date:23 Feb 2017
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    • ISBN:9781784292782
    • Publication date:23 Feb 2017

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

the Bailey's Prize longlisted novel

By Heather O'Neill

  • Hardback
  • £16.99

A novel about childhood damage and the redemptive power of art from an author twice listed for the Women's Prize and the Giller Prize

'Joyful, funny and vividly alive' Emily St John Mandel
'The Lonely Hearts Hotel sucked me right in and only got better and better . . . I began underlining truths I had hungered for' Miranda July
'Makes me think of comets and live wires . . . raises goosebumps' Helen Oyeyemi
'A fairytale laced with gunpowder' Kelly Link

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with a difference. Set throughout the roaring twenties, it is a wicked fairytale of circus tricks and child prodigies, radical chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians and brooding clowns, set in an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss.

It is the tale of two dreamers, abandoned in an orphanage where they were fated to meet. Here, in the face of cold, hunger and unpredictable beatings, Rose and Pierrot create a world of their own, shielding the spark of their curiosity from those whose jealousy will eventually tear them apart.

When they meet again, each will have changed, having struggled through the Depression, through what they have done to fill the absence of the other. But their childhood vision remains - a dream to storm the world, a spectacle, an extravaganza that will lift them out of the gutter and onto a glittering stage.

Heather O'Neill's pyrotechnical imagination and language are like no other. In this she has crafted a dazzling circus of a novel that takes us from the underbellies of war-time Montreal and Prohibition New York, to a theatre of magic where anything is possible - where an orphan girl can rule the world, and a ruined innocence can be redeemed.

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  • ISBN: 9781849163354
  • Publication date: 23 Feb 2017
  • Page count: 400
  • Imprint: riverrun
Heather O'Neill's style is laced with so much sublime possibility and merciless actuality (and vice versa) that it makes me think of comets and live wires and william blake's tyger . . . between prose like that and a story like this, you have a book that raises goosebumps and the giddiest of grins more or less simultaneously — Helen Oyeyemi
Because this book is so filled with delightful things - bold and complex sex; heartache and wickedness and glittering hearts - it would be easy to overlook how finely it is made. The Lonely Hearts Hotel sucked me right in and only got better and better, ultimately becoming much tougher, wiser than I was prepared for. I began underlining truths I had hungered for but never before read. By the end I was a gasping, tearful mess. — Miranda July
O'Neill is an extraordinary writer, and her new novel is exquisite. She has taken on sadness itself as a subject, but it would be terribly reductive to say that this book is sad; it's also joyful, funny, and vividly alive. — Emily St John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
A fairy tale laced with gunpowder and romance and icing sugar, all wrapped round with a lit fuse. Each of Heather O'Neill's sentences pricks or delights. If you haven't read her other books, start with this one and then read all of the rest. — Kelly Link
O'Neill at the height of her literary powers . . . her most book gripping to date . . . Ferociously direct. . . A ravishing novel, that, for all its brutality, retains a childlike appreciation for the fantastic. — Andre Forget, Walrus
A love story of epic proportions...this novel will cast a spell upon readers from page one. — Publisher's Weekly
Walking the hypnotic line between tragedy and fairy tale ...Grotesque and whimsical at once, the love story that unfolds is a fable of ambition and perseverance, desperation and heartbreak. But while Pierrot is unforgettable, the novel belongs to Rose, a woman who - if she cannot carve out space for herself in upstanding daylight - will rise to power in the underworld of night. O'Neill's prose is crisp and strange, arresting in its frankness; much like the novel itself, her writing is both gleefully playful and devastatingly sad. Big and lush and extremely satisfying; a rare treat. — Kirkus
O'Neill is a mistress of metaphor and imagery ... This is brilliant tragicomedy ... in a melancholy love story that brings to life the bygone days of theatrical revues. It's a little weird and a lot of fun. — Booklist
O'Neill's prose is gorgeous, with arresting imagery. This simultaneously heartbreaking and life-affirming novel depicts the range of the human experience through the eyes of its almost pretenaturally charming hero and heroine . . . This is an original and unforgettable novel. — Library Journal
A romance that's straight out of a strange, prettily twisted fairytale — Psychologies
Award-winning Canadian author Heather O'Neill spins a spell-binding yarn set in the seedy worlds of pre-war Montreal and Prohibition New York . . . There are many cruel forks in the road along the way, but the novel has a magical quality that softens the blows. — Boundless
loved the world weary tone of Heather O'Neill's debut novel Lullabies For Little Criminals (shortlisted for the Orange Women's Prize) and The Lonely Hearts Hotel more than lives up to the promise of her earlier work . . . This novel has a gorgeous, gin-sodden, rain-soaked feel that reminds me of Jean Rhys. — Red
A larger-than-life, gritty love story that reads like a fable . . . The greatest strength of O'Neill's work, however, is her wholly unique narrative voice, which is at once cool and panoramic, yet shockingly intimate and wisely philosophical. The novel brims with shimmering one-liners..."THE LONELY HEARTS HOTEL is that rare find: a novel you have never before read anything quite like. O'Neill, a genius at metaphor, and who tackles graphic and delicate topics with rare tenderness and even charm, has created a sweeping story with elements of historical fiction, romance, crime and noir, yet writes in a style that authoritatively claims all terrain in her reach as her own. — Gina Frangello, Boston Globe
An extremely unusual modern fairy tale. It shows us the dark side of how fragile our lives are and how easily damaged. Overall, it was a beautiful, magical love story — Waterstones
To read Heather O'Neill's dazzling new novel is to enter an enchanting and poetic world that is also amusing, troubling and often lascivious. O'Neill's lively style is so filled with vivid descriptions and complex characters that the reader's experience is virtually cinematic. — Washington Post
The Giller-shortlisted author's new novel has all the absurd, frightening, fantastical qualities of a midnight reverie - complete with depressed clowns, dancing bears, lunatic nuns and smitten mobsters - and with a similar power to haunt . . . O'Neill, always an original and enchanting storyteller, is at the height of her powers. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a feat of imagination, accomplished through the tiny, marvellous details she scatters across the page. — Toronto Star
Walks a tightrope between social and magical realism . . . She grafts Angela Carter-esque fairytale darkness on to her forays into her native Montreal's gothic underbelly . . . A gritty, giddy fairyground ride of a book [involving] rapture, wonder and an unquenchable faith in the extraordinary — Daily Mail
O'Neill magics up a world that's both lush and brutal. But The Lonely Hearts Hotel also shows us that the chorus girls are turning tricks, the clowns are taking heroin and the dancing children have already seen too much. It's a beguiling mix, with paragraphs you'll want to read over and over to revel in their rightness. — Emerald Street
Art, love, imagination - these values are held aloft in O'Neill's novel . . . it's achingly romantic . . . a feminist fairy tale of sorts . . . the nature of the theatrical spectacle Rose and Pierrot and company have created speaks to the mesmerizing effects of the novel itself — San Francisco Chronicle
Theatrical glitter and a romance that's straight out of a strange, twisted fairy tale . . . O'Neill's magical storytelling is packed with startling images — Mail on Sunday
Heather O'Neill's style is laced with so much sublime possibility and merciless actuality (and vice versa) that it makes me think of comets and live wires and william blake's tyger . . . between prose like that and a story like this, you have a book that raises goosebumps and the giddiest of grins more or less simultaneously — Helen Oyeyemi
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'Like Angela Carter, she is relentlessly inventive' Sunday Times'Full of pathos, spirit and iridescent innocence' Independent on SundayThe first novel by the author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel12-year-old Baby is used to turmoil in her life. Her mother is long dead, her father is a junkie and they shuttle between rotting apartments and decrepit downtown hotels. As her father's addiction and paranoia grow worse, she begins a journey that will lead her through chaos and hardship; but Baby's remarkable strength of spirit enables her to survive. Smart, funny and determined to lift herself off the city's dirty streets, she knows that the only person she can truly rely upon is herself.

Adèle Geras

Adèle Geras is the author of many acclaimed stories for children as well as five adult novels, including: Facing the Light, Hester's Story, Made in Heaven and A Hidden Life (all available in ebook from Quercus), Cover Your Eyes (available in print from Quercus) and Out of the Dark, a special short story for the literary charity Quick Reads. Adèle lives near Cambridge and is the mother of the thriller writer Sophie Hannah.

Alix Ohlin

Alix Ohlin is the author of one previous novel, The Missing Person, and the story collection Babylon and Other Stories. She was born in Montreal and graduated from Harvard and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Her stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, Best American Short Stories and other publications, and she has received fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo.

Anna Bell

Anna Bell currently writes the weekly column 'The Secret Dreamworld of An Aspiring Author' on the website Novelicious. She is a full-time writer and loves nothing more than going for walks with her husband and Labrador.

Catherine Lowell

Catherine Lowell received her BA in Creative Writing from Stanford University and currently lives in New York City.The Madwoman Upstairs is her first novel.

Christie Watson

Christie Watson trained as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and worked as a nurse, educator and senior sister for over ten years before joining UEA for her MA in Creative Writing, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Bursary. Christie lives in South London with her Nigerian Muslim partner and their large dual heritage, multi-faith family. Christie is a winner of Red's Hot Women Awards 2012.

Damien Lewis

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

Dave Heyhoe

Dave and Treo have won numerous awards, including the Dickin Medal - more commonly known as 'the animal Victoria Cross' - and the Cruft's Friends for Life Award. Both Dave and Treo are now retired from the army and they share a home in rural Cheshire.

Derek Robinson

Derek Robinson, the son of a policeman, read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. His novel Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.

Ed O'Loughlin

Ed O'Loughlin was born in Toronto and raised in Ireland. He reported from Africa for the Irish Times, and was Middle East correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age of Melbourne. His first novel, Not Untrue & Not Unkind was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009. His second novel, Toploader, was published by Quercus in 2011.

Elaine Proctor

Elaine Proctor was born in South Africa. She became involved in the anti-apartheid movement as a teenager and filmed several political documentaries up until 1986, when the political situation made it impossible for her to continue and she left to study at the National Film and Television School in Britain. She has made several films, including On The Wire (winner of the British Film Institute's Sutherland Trophy) and Friends (selected by the Cannes Film Festival and winner of the Mention Speciale - Prix de Camera D'Or), has written a series for the BBC and published two novels, Rhumba and The Savage Hour. She sits on the chapter for screenwriting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is a member of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain. Elaine lives in Queen's Park, London.

Eleanor Prescott

Eleanor Prescott has worked in PR for ten years. She lives in Kent with her husband, son and daughter. Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating is her first novel.

Elizabeth Brundage

Elizabeth Brundage graduated from Hampshire College, attended the NYU film school, was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and received an M.F.A. as well as a James Michener Award from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. She has taught at a variety of colleges and universities, most recently at Skidmore College as a visiting writer in residence. She lives near Albany in upstate New York.

Elizabeth Gill

Elizabeth Gill was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and as a child lived in Tow Law, a small mining town on the Durham fells. She has been a published author for more than thirty years and has written more than forty books. She lives in Durham City, likes the awful weather in the north east and writes best when rain is lashing the windows.

Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay is the bestselling, award-winning author of Late Nights on Air, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include A Student of Weather (finalist for the Giller Prize and the Ottawa Book Award), Garbo Laughs (winner of the Ottawa Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Small Change (stories). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. Elizabeth Hay lives and writes in Ottawa.

Elizabeth Heathcote

Elizabeth Heathcote has worked as a feature writer and editor on newspapers and magazines for many years. Her jobs have included women's editor and deputy features editor at the Independent on Sunday, as well as freelance feature writing for publications such as the Independent, Observer, Guardian, Marie Claire and Red. She is presently associate editor at Psychologies magazine. Elizabeth's home is southeast London, where she lives with her partner and two children.

Eva Rice

Eva Rice has written three novels and one non-fiction book. She is married to a musician and has three children. She lives in London.

Hannah Michell

Hannah Michell was born in Yorkshire in 1983 and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She studied Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, then received an MA in Creative Writing from City University. She has worked for the Economist, Penguin Books and now lectures on Korean pop culture at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first novel, The Defections, was published in 2014.