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The Shieling
The Shieling

The Shieling


240 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $13.95 (US $13.95) (CA $17.95)

Publication Date: January 2011

ISBN 9781905583218

Rights: US & CA

Comma Press (Jan 2011)

Sorry, this item is temporarily out of stock


Driven to abscond from the pressures of everyday life, the characters in this collection turn to strange ideas, distant places, and private languages in search of escape. At times the characters appear absurd, like the vicar who strikes up a conversation with the devil, and at other times they seem unreachably lonely, like the man drowned in the black waters of the Irwell, but each is presented with such compassion that it is impossible not to completely enter these peculiar fates. Through the stunning use of imagery and landscape and the descent through the strata of different lives, readers are offered an arms-length view of the forces of hope and redemption at work amidst desolate survival tactics of ordinary life.


‘Perhaps the finest of contemporary writers in this form’ – The Reader

'Flawless but unsettling' - Boyd Tonkin on Under the Dam, Books of the Year 2005, The Independent

'Constantine is writing for his life. Every sentence and paragraph is shaped, tense with meaning and unobtrusively beautiful, his images of the natural world burning their way into the reader’s mind...' - Maggie Gee on Under the Dam, The Times

"Every sentence is both unpredictable and exactly what it should be. Reading them is a series of short shocks of (agreeably envious) pleasure . . . " —A.S. Byatt on Under the Dam, the Guardian

Author Biography

David Constantine is an award-winning poet and a translator. He is the author of Caspar Hauser, Madder, Nine Fathom Deep, The Pelt of Wasps, Something for the Ghosts, and Watching for Dolphins, and an editor for Modern Poetry in Translation.