Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel of the Year. From the author of Old Filth. With prose that is vibrant and witty, The Queen of the Tambourine traces the emotional breakdown—and eventual restoration—of Eliza Peabody, a smart and wildly imaginative woman who has become unbearably isolated in her prosperous London neighborhood. The letters Eliza writes to her neighbor, a woman whom she hardly knows, reveal her self-propelled descent into madness. Eliza must reach the depths of her downward spiral before she can once again find health and serenity. This story of a woman’s confrontation with the realities of sanity will delight readers who enjoy the works of Anita Brookner, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, and Sylvia Plath.
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.