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  • Published: 15 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099570523
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

Doctor Who: The Tardis Handbook

From the author of The Past, Tessa Hadley's 5th novel now re-jacketed for a whole new audience

Stella was a clever girl, everyone thought so. Living with her mother and rather unsatisfactory stepfather in suburban respectability she reads voraciously, smokes until her voice is hoarse and dreams of a less ordinary life. When she meets Val, he seems to her to embody everything she longs for - glamour, ideas, excitement and the thrill of the unknown. But these things come at a price and one that Stella despite all her cleverness doesn't realise until it is too late.

  • Published: 15 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099570523
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of six highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The LondonTrain,Clever Girl and The Past, and three collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love and Bad Dreams. The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She lives in London and is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her stories appear regularly in the NewYorker and other magazines.

Also by Tessa Hadley

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Praise for Doctor Who: The Tardis Handbook

As discrete entities, Hadley's short stories are intense, miniature novels in themselves; bound together in a novel, they become quietly brilliant, offering an incisive exploration into how life's individuals episodes add up to a meaningful whole.

Francesca Angelini, Sunday Times

Hadley is a writer of exceptional intelligence and skill and, for all the apparent conventionality of her vision, hers is a subtly subversive talent.

Edmund Gordon, Observer

There is something reassuring yet deliciously unexpected about a Tessa Hadley novel.

Helen Brown, Daily Telegraph

The most astute and sympathetic of writers.

Susanna Rustin, Guardian

This novel is the life story of an ordinary, middle-aged woman - Stella. Only that she is not ordinary because Tessa Hadley is writing her into existence and is behind her like a following wind. Hadley writes as a masterly illustrator might draw.

Kate Kellaway, Observer

Hadley's achievement in her fifth novel is to express a life significantly shaped and often constrained by discomfort - physical, mental, emotional - but a life that nonetheless progresses, mutating from circumstance to circumstance, decade to decade.

Alex Clark, Times Literary Supplement

Hadley.has a genius for pithy analysis.

Matthew Dennison, The Times

Gorgeously erudite prose.

Catherine Taylor, Sunday Telegraph

A continuous pleasure to read... Reinforced by some quiet but very clever narrative arrangement.

Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph

A quietly brilliant novel.

Sunday Times Culture

Tessa Hadley writes like a dream, the prose precise but funny; her psychology always seems spot on.

John Harding, Daily Mail

Hadley writes beautifully of the unpredictable mess of life.

Claire Allfree, Metro

Understated, elegant writing and acute observation of ordinary life are Tessa Hadley's strengths.

Good Housekeeping

What holds the attention is not a dramatic, twisting tale providing sudden revelations but an intimate narrative voice that renders people, places and experiences in vivid detail. Clever Girl is a remarkable novel by one of this country's finest, if most unassuming talents.

James Kidd, Literary Review

Hadley is at her best when recalling how it felt growing up 40 years ago, but also how maternal bonds both reward and frustrate.

Marianne Brace, Independent

A gripping tale.


Entirely in keeping with Tessa Hadley's subtle, intelligent and realistic storytelling.

Claire Harman, Evening Standard

Hadley imagines her characters, and enters their minds, with wonderful clarity and truthfulness.

Kate Saunders, Saga

The best novel I read, by a mile. It's so finely worked, like emotional needlepoint, though she handles time masterfully, too. Stella, its heroine, seems always to be moving towards the light, and I read the last 20 pages with tears pouring down my cheeks.

Rachel Cooke, Observer

Tessa Hadley writes beautifully - she can take you right inside a person's mind... The stories are exquisitely told and full of detail.

William Leith, Evening Standard

Looking for the next Kate Atkinson or Alice Munro? Pick up this lovely novel.

People Magazine

If I had to recommend one novel to you this year, it would be Clever Girl.

Bath Chronicle

Tessa Hadley makes "ordinary" lives extraordinary... Perhaps her finest novel yet.

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Gorgeously erudite.

Daily Telegraph

She deserves all the prizes. Hadley is psychologically acute, drily witty and.absolutely wonderful on place. It's a remarkable novel, not least for the seamless way Hadley handles the passage of time, though its chief bit of daring for me is its expression of what cleverness feels like, and the impact this may have on the trajectory of an ordinary woman's life. I read the novel's last 30 pages with tears rolling down my cheeks, a rare thing for me.

Rachel Cooke, Guardian

Few writers give me such consistent pleasure

Zadie Smith

She has such great psychological insights into human beings, which is rare. She is one of the best fiction writers writing today

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

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