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  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409079620
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240


Winner of the Orange Award for New Writers

Diana Evans is the new literary voice of multicultural Britain. Her unforgettable first novel has all the heartbreak of Brick Lane and all the vibrancy of White Teeth, but a very special magic of its own.


'A remarkable first novel...vibrant...exotic' Sunday Times
Discover the critically acclaimed debut from the Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Ordinary People
Identical twins, Georgia and Bessi Hunter, live in the loft of 26 Waifer Avenue. It is a place of beanbags, nectarines and secrets, and visitors must always knock before entering. Down below there is not such harmony. Their Nigerian mother puts cayenne pepper on her Yorkshire pudding and has mysterious ways of dealing with homesickness; their father angrily roams the streets of London, prey to the demons of his Derbyshire upbringing.

Forced to create their own identities, the Hunter children build a separate universe. Their elder sister Bel discovers sex, high heels and organic hairdressing whilst the twins prepare for a flapjack empire. It is when the reality comes knocking that the fantasies of childhood start to give way. How will Georgia and Bessi cope in a world of separateness and solitude, and which of them will be stronger?

'Hugely assured and very moving' Mark Haddon

'Diana Evans's fiction is emotionally intelligent, dark, funny, moving. The sheer energy in her novels is enthralling. A brilliant craftswoman, a master of the form, she makes the reader ask important questions of themselves and makes them laugh at the same time' Jackie Kay, British Council and National Centre for Writing's International Showcase on Britain's 10 best BAME writers

Winner of the British Book Award for deciBel Writer of the Year
Shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award
Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award
Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Best First Book Award
Shortlisted for the Times/Southbank Show Breakthrough Award
Recipient of the Betty Trask Award
Longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409079620
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the author

Diana Evans

Diana Evans is a British author of Nigerian and English descent. Her bestselling novel, 26a, won the inaugural Orange Award for New Writers and the British Book Awards deciBel Writer of the Year prize. It was also shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel, the Guardian First Book, the Commonwealth Best First Book and the Times/Southbank Show Breakthrough awards, and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel, The Wonder, is currently under option for TV dramatisation. She is a former dancer, and as a journalist and critic has contributed to among others Marie Claire, the Independent, the Guardian, the Observer, The Times, the Telegraph, Financial Times and Harper’s Bazaar. Ordinary People is her third novel, and received an Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award. She lives in London.


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Praise for 26a

This sparky debut novel... Enthralling from the first page, this bittersweet fusion of fairytales and nightmares is sugared by nostalgia and salted with sadness, Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail

Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail

'This is a satisfying book, full of energy and charm'

Christina Koning, The Times

'Very enjoyable...Evans writes with tremendous verve and dash. Her ear for dialogue is superb, and she has wit and sharp perception...A consistently readable book filled with likeable characters: a study of loss that has great heart and humour'


'A serious and accomplished first novel, an affecting study of togetherness and separation in a family, a marriage and, most importantly, between the twins'

Time Out

'An exciting and vibrant read. It's a weird and wonderful fairy-tale about the lives of twins...26a is brilliant and a great read'

Sunday Express

'Poetic, complex and lingering'

New Statesman

'Highly coloured, linguistically inventive...Evans has a powerful and often beguiling imagination'

Daily Telegraph

'Sensual and poetic, as well as powerful and uncompromising...A mature, compelling and beautiful first novel'

Times Literary Supplement

'A dazzling debut...I adored this book; I defy anyone to read the final pages without tears in their eyes. Easily the best book of the year so far'


'The writing is both mature and freshly perceptive, creating not only a warmly funny novel of a Neasden childhood - with its engaging minutiae of flapjacks and icepops, lip gloss and daisy hairclips - but a haunting account of the loss of innocence and mental disintegration.'

Maya Jaggi, Guardian

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