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About the book
  • Published: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099531944
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $19.99

Half of the Human Race

Formats & editions

'Half of the Human Race is the sort of novel one presses on a friend in a spirit of happy envy, confident of the fictional treat that lies ahead of them' - Evening Standard

Summer of 1911. English society is on the brink of change. The streets of London ring with cheers for a new king's coronation and the cries of increasingly violent suffragette protests.

Connie Callaway, fired up by the possibilities of independence, wants more than the conventional comforts of marriage. Spirited and courageous, she is determined to fight for 'the greatest cause the world has ever known'.

Will Maitland, the rising star of county cricket, is a man of traditional opinions. He is both intrigued and appalled by Connie's outspokenness and her quest for self-fulfilment.

Their lives become inextricably entangled just as the outbreak of war drives them further apart. Buffeted and spun by choice and chance, Connie and Will struggle against the aftershocks of war and the changes it wreaks. This is a deeply affecting story of love against all the odds.

  • Pub date: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099531944
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1964. From 1998 to 2013 he was the film critic for the Independent. He is the author of six novels: The Rescue Man, which won the 2009 Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award; Half of the Human Race; The Streets, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Walter Scott Prize; Curtain Call, which was chosen for Waterstones and Mail on Sunday book clubs; Freya, a Radio 2 Book Club choice, and Eureka.

Also by Anthony Quinn

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Praise for Half of the Human Race

“Powerful and touching”

Clare Clark, Guardian

“Excellent and surprising... wonderfully rich... A thoroughly absorbing and moving novel and it is a testament to the author's adaptability and energy that he is equally at home writing about feminist civil rights, cricket, prisons, art and medicine. And love. Especially love. A good all-rounder indeed”

Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

“An exhilarating love story”

Sunday Telegraph

“What lights up Half of the Human Race is not only the Suffragist movement in all its glory and lunacy, but Quinn's affection for his cast... So often, historical fiction relies on research for its colour and depth of interest, but these are people who feel absorbingly real in their misunderstandings, jokes, troubles and passions...and this makes the novel equally interesting to both sexes...moving... compelling... satisfying”

Amanda Craig, Daily Telegraph

“Quinn's impeccable eye for detail, perfect pitch for the nuances of dialogue, and the quiet, understated passion that enlivens his writing combine here to make his considerable achievement seem effortless... The Rescue Man won prizes. Half of the Human Race should follow in its footsteps and establish its author as one of our most impressive novelists”

Peter Stanford, Independent

“This is only Anthony Quinn's second novel, but you would never guess it from the expert way he marshals his material, telling a human story in a literate, intelligent way... The real guts of the book can be found in the character of Connie. She is sprightly, impulsive, independent-minded... You really care what happens to her....an exhilarating love story”

David Robson, Daily Telegraph

“Enthralling... In effortlessly fluent prose, Quinn keeps you riveted until the very end”

Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday

“Beautifully constructed”

Peter Wilby, Observer

“Few books boast a suffragette heroine and a professional cricket hero but Anthony Quinn's second novel pulls off such a strange pairing because it is old-fashioned in a very good way... Quinn memorably foregrounds the humanity of the characters...and tells their stories wonderfully”


“A highly readable book about love, loyalty and integrity”

Kathy Stephenson, Daily Mail

“A seamless tapestry...The rhythm of rejection and understanding in Connie and Will's relationship is mapped out with care and precision. The permutations between them and sad, lonely and are explored with such exemplary meticulousness that you can't help but be touched”

Adam Lively, Sunday Times


Financial Times

“The Suffragette movement and pre-war country cricket might seem an odd couple for a novel but Anthony Quinn marries them perfectly in a nostalgic and compelling tale whose themes of love and friendship on and off the pitch will appeal to lovers of romance and cricket alike.”

The Cricketer

“An exhilarating love story”

Sunday Telegraph

“Trench warfare is vividly described: the agonizing wait for dawn, the despairing bravery of those going 'over the top', the futility, the waste, the sadness. Anthony Quinn tells this part of his tale faultlessly, and without a cliché... poetic.”

Mary Blanche Ridge, The Tablet

“Not just an exhilarating love story... a bold, impressive novel”

Waitrose Weekend

“With crisp prose and evocative description, Anthony Quinn's second novel embodies early 20th century Britain with aplomb and exhumes a political plight that still has great relevance”

Eastern Daily Press

“Set at the same time as E. M. Forster's novels, this intelligent antidote to Downton Abbey is written with wit, narrative craft and elegant prose.”

Daily Telegraph (Five stars)

“Quinn’s novel concerns the stalling romance between a suffragette and a cricketer, set amid war and middle-class Edwardian mores. This chalk-and-cheese couple and their stifling environment are equally well crafted”

Holly Kyte, Sunday Telegraph

“The characters are subtly drawn and the period touches, particularly the sporting passages, have an authentic ring”

Simon Shaw, Daily Mail

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