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An Experiment in Leisure
An Experiment in Leisure

An Experiment in Leisure



304 Pages, 5.06 x 7.81

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95)

Publication Date: November 2022

ISBN 9781529113600

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Nov 2022)

Price: $15.95


"A dizzying yet powerful read." —Claire-Louise Bennett, author, Pond

A sharp and witty debut novel that is at once a tender portrait of youth and an exploration of the emotional costs of social mobility, the possibilities of leaving and returning, the meanings of work and the ways a woman learns to love women

'Can I get a refund?' I asked the bus driver.
'You taking the piss, love?'

It's January 2015, and Grace is supposed to have what she wants. She's swapped West Yorkshire for north London, her accent carefully edited and with a Cambridge degree under her belt. Her friends drink beer out of artful tins. She makes flat whites for people with berets. She's found a psychoanalyst.

But this fantasy of metropolitan cool is turning out to be more costly than she thought, and Grace is running out of credit. Painfully adrift from her mother and twin sister and trying desperately both to forget her roots and disown her ambition, she's lost and confused in the face of complicated crises of identity, class, sex and geography. She finds herself fleeing up and down a country on the verge of an intractable schism, and begins to reckon with her own divisions. Can she find a life amid these contradictions? Can she remember how to love?


"An absolutely riveting novel that is both full of life and full of loneliness. Glendenning's words blaze and bounce across the page, brilliantly evoking the bizarre paradox that dogs early adulthood - namely, feeling intensely self-conscious despite possessing only the merest most nascent sense of having a self. A dizzying yet powerful read." —Claire-Louise Bennett, author, Pond

"A stunning, vivid and very funny debut about loss, family and the search for self-knowledge and a meaningful life. It's about the language of the heart, and how encountering those who speak a common tongue can shape the course of a life." —Saskia Vogel, author, Permission

"This is such a special book. With deeply joyful pace, and rhythm, I grew as obsessed with the prose itself as I did with the plot and characters. As things in the Big World seem to get more binary, An Experiment in Leisure plunders the grey area with wit and forgiveness - and that's exactly where I wanted to be." —Tom Rasmussen, author, McQueen: The Illustrated History of the Fashion Icon

"The novel questions the idea of social mobility – is there a ladder that can simply be climbed? Or is the process of moving up a little more complex? Whether the answers are discovered in the novel or not, one thing is clear. An Experiment In Leisure celebrates working-class identities and offers an alternative perspective – one that suggests we don’t have to leave our roots behind to live a joyful life." —Nrth Lass

Author Biography

Anna Glendenning is a writer from Leeds. She was formerly an editor at And Other Stories, where books under her wing made the 2018 Man Booker International and Goldsmiths Prize shortlists. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the White Review Short Story Prize. She was born in 1991, is based in London, and works in the engagement team at Kew Gardens.