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  • Published: 19 February 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784742485
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $32.99

Graceland




A new novel from Bethan Roberts - a brilliant recreation of the early life of Elvis Presley, the making of 'the King', and a heartbreaking portrait of the very intense love between him and his mother, Gladys

What happens when your only son becomes The King of Rock 'n' Roll?From the moment she first holds him, after his twin brother is stillborn, Gladys Presley loves her son Elvis ferociously. She will be his greatest influence, the love of his life. She will be the one by his side, when Elvis is a boy and his father is in the jailhouse; as the family move from place to place, skirting poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi; as Elvis's obsession with music grows; as they move to Memphis and he begins his whirlwind rise to never-before-seen success. And he will love her back, even as his heart is turned by the blues, clothes and girls. But while he makes it big in Hollywood, brings audiences across the land to their knees and achieves unimagined wealth and fame, there is another story - of drinking and diet pills, loneliness and loss. While the heat and music of the American South in the 40s and 50s play in the background, a heartbreaking portrait of a mother's love and a son's devotion takes centre stage. When Elvis reaches the height of his power, he buys his family the ultimate mansion on the hill, Graceland, where he hopes his mother will be happy. The reality, though, is very different, and Elvis finds that even kings must go on alone.'Graceland is an astonishing literary achievement. Bethan Roberts somehow manages to unlock the mystery to that beautiful sadness in the voice of Elvis. Utterly heartbreaking.' Jake Arnott

  • Published: 19 February 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784742485
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts was born in Oxford and grew up in nearby Abingdon. Her first novel The Pools won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers' Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook, published in 2008, was serialized on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out's books of the year. Her third novel, My Policeman, was picked as the 'City Reads' book for Brighton. Her most recent novel is Mother Island, winner of a Jerwood/Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015. Bethan lives in Brighton with her family.

www.bethanrobertswriter.com

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Praise for Graceland

An immediately convincing evocation of time and place, as well as character, colour, sultry heat and complex emotions... Moving effortlessly between the late 1950s and Elvis's straitened upbringing, it vividly conveys his world

Sunday Times

This is an impressive, deceptively gentle novel, full of quiet music and even quieter tragedy

Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph

One of the best books about a rock star I've ever read

David Hepworth

Bethan Roberts grew up in a house filled with Elvis’s music and pored over her mother’s Elvis annuals and scrapbooks as a child… its emotional range rings true and its fidelity to a certain strain of wistful melancholy might go deeper than facts... an understated, thoughtful novel about a man who wore suits fashioned from gold leaf on stage, which occasionally prompts the reader to burst into song.

Susie Boyt, Financial Times

Graceland is an astonishing literary achievement. Bethan Roberts somehow manages to unlock the mystery to that beautiful sadness in the voice of Elvis. Utterly heartbreaking.

Jake Arnott

Roberts has done her research and is a loving curator of the legend, but she’s strong, too on the tiny sensual details, which intensify the up-close feel of this sensitive, measured novel

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Roberts is an exceptionally tender and empathetic writer, and the story of Elvis Presley and his relationship with his mother is one ripe for her skills… both epic and intimate

Grazia

One is always in safe hands with Bethan Roberts, especially when the subject is love.

Lynne Truss

A beautifully captured portrait

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

Extraordinarily moving

Choice

Roberts is skilled at evoking the sexy, squalid atmosphere of Memphis in the 1950s. There’s a down-at-heel glamour that the reader can smell and taste

Alan Murrin, Times Literary Supplement

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