Jane Gardam, celebrated author of the Old Filth trilogy, brings her bright, incisive prose to an altogether different, more curious world in The Hollow Land, winner of the Whitbread Book Award. These stories capture the beauty of the barren Cumbrian countryside, and among its few inhabitants, the lives of two young boys, Bell Teesdale and Harry Bateman. Bell, from a farming family, has been raised in the dialect, hard work, and myth of the fells. His new friend Harry is a tourist whose family vacations there every year. The pair’s inseparable friendship provides a series of delightful adventures rendered with Gardam’s gorgeous detail and sure use of humor. Bell and Harry look for every opportunity to discover ancient grounds and mysteries, like the history of the Egg Witch. And everyone is curious about the Household Name, the wildly famous Londoner who takes up residence at Light Trees Farm. Here as always, Gardam’s writing displays a marvelous spirit with confident ease. These are memorable stories, alive and sparkling, written as only Jane Gardam could write them. Her love for the “hollow land” and its people is evident in every line: readers of all ages will be persuaded to share this heartfelt connection by the vividness of her writing.
Jane Gardam has been twice awarded the Whitbread Prize and was also a Booker prize finalist. She is winner of the David Higham Prize, the Royal Society for Literature’s Winifred Holtby Prize, the Katherine Mansfield Prize, and the Silver Pen Award from PEN. Her novels include God on the Rocks, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Old Filth, finalist for the Orange Prize; The Man in the Wooden Hat, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Last Friends, finalist for the Folio Award. She lives in the south of England near the sea. In 1999 Jane Gardam was awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize in recognition of a distinguished literary career.