Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307266835, 288pp.
Publication Date: January 8, 2008
The New York Times has called her “a world-class fiction writer.” One of Britain’s most iconoclastic and highly acclaimed young writers (“If you are at all interested in contemporary fiction, this is work you must not miss”—Richard Ford)—twice selected as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award—A. L. Kennedy now gives us a brilliant new novel about war for which she is receiving the strongest reviews of her career.
Alfie Day, RAF airman and former World War II POW, never expected to survive the war. He may not have even wanted to—choosing to be a tail gunner—exposed, alone and watchful for his skipper and his crew through night after night of bombing missions. Now, five years after the end of the war and more alone than ever, Alfie finds himself drawn to unearth those intense, strangely passionate days by working as an extra on a POW film. What he will discover on the set about himself, his loves and the world around him will make the war itself look simple.
Day is a superbly realized, emotionally charged, deeply affecting drama about the violence of modern life, and the intensity and courage to be found in the closeness of death. Blazing with Kennedy’s characteristic virtuosity, wit and narrative invention, Day is funny and moving, wise and sad, a dazzlingly original performance from one of the most gifted writers of our time.
“An imaginative tour de force that succeeds on every level, from its sparkling language to its narrative ingenuity to its devastating portrayal of wartime Europe.”
—San Diego Union-Tribune
“Kennedy faultlessly captures the brusque camaraderie of the bomber crew, men from vastly different backgrounds knitted together by a love so profound it can never be put in words.”
—The Washington Post
“[Kennedy] follows the examples of several of her contemporaries, including William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks, in writing about World War II, and in doing so makes that fertile territory very much her own. . . . Brilliant.”
—The Boston Globe
“Remarkable. . . . Day is a novel of extraordinary complexity.”
—The New York Review of Books