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  • Published: 11 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473566989
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

Skin




The explosive second novel from Kerry Andrew takes readers from Eighties London to rural Ireland at the turn of the millennium, in a twisting and compulsive story about family and belonging.

'I didn't want this book to end... Beautiful' DAISY JOHNSON
'A natural storyteller' PATRICK GALE
'A gorgeous folkloric novel of water and love' ZOE GILBERT

London, 1985. Joe, father to eleven-year-old Matty, has disappeared, and nobody will explain where he's gone, or why.

In the long, hot summer that follows, Matty's hunt for Joe leads to the ponds at Hampstead Heath. Beneath the water, there is a new kind of freedom. Above the water, a welcoming community of men offer refuge from an increasingly rocky home life.

Fourteen years later, a new revelation sees Matty set off alone in a campervan, driving westwards through Ireland, swimming its wild loughs and following the scant clues left behind about Joe. The trip takes a dangerous turn, and Matty is forced to rely on the kindness of strangers. But safety comes at a price, and with desire and fear running high, the journey turns into an explosive, heart-rending reckoning with the past.

*A 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK IN i NEWSPAPER*

'Artfully paced, with queer undercurrents, this novel is tender and totally enveloping' Attitude

  • Published: 11 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473566989
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the author

Kerry Andrew

Kerry Andrew is a London-based composer, performer, and author. She has won four British Composer Awards and is best known for her experimental vocal, choral and music-theatre work, often based around themes of community, landscape and myth. She has released two albums with her band You Are Wolf: Hawk to the Hunting Gone (2014), a collection of avian folk-songs re-interpreted, and Keld (2018), inspired by freshwater folklore. She made her short story debut on BBC Radio 4 in 2014 and she was shortlisted for the 2018 BBC National Short Story Award. She is currently working on her second novel.

Also by Kerry Andrew

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Praise for Skin

Andrew's wonderful second novel is the deeply involving story of a difficult childhood, a search for a long-missing parent, how we view our bodies and the secrets we keep even from those who know us best.

75 Books for 2021, i Newspaper

A sweeping coming-of-age narrative whose on-point themes of gender and sexuality are embedded in evocative descriptions of London during the 1980s, and of boomtime Ireland a decade later

Mail Online

A gloriously raw and watery adventure, fraught with fluidity, teen-angst and identity; an update of Ovid's transformations and Catcher in the Rye, re-gendered in the Hampstead ponds and the deeper waters, far beyond...

Philip Hoare

I felt a real sense of loss when I read the last page. I didn't want this book to end. Andrew's writing is tender, beautiful, perfectly weighted. A writer we are immensely lucky to have.

Daisy Johnson

An atmospheric creation... Skin stirs with references to water myths, from selkies and mermaids to sirens and cursed bodies of water.

Bidisha, Observer

This evocative and sensitive tale is grounded by the authentic complexity of its characters... Inspired.

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Artfully paced, with queer undercurrents, this novel is tender and totally enveloping.

Uli Lenart, Attitude

A gorgeous folkloric novel of water and love... You should read this and you should also read Kerry's Swansong. It's a rare thing to see folklore woven into beautiful, tender human reality with such delicacy and skills

Zoe Gilbert, author of Folk and Mischief Acts

Kerry Andrew is that rare thing, a natural storyteller with one of those quietly confident voices that takes you by the cuff and leads you down unexpected passages. In the finest tradition of quest tales, Skin's protagonist sets out in search of one thing and ends by discovering quite another and both they and the reader grow a little as a result

Patrick Gale

A brilliant, moving, tender, queer story. Highly recommended

Meg-John Barker, author of Queer: A Graphic Guide

A gloriously raw and watery adventure, fraught with fluidity, teen-angst and identity; an update of Ovid's transformations and Catcher in the Rye, re-gendered in the Hampstead ponds and the deeper waters, far beyond...

Philip Hoare

Andrew's wonderful second novel is a deeply involving story of a difficult childhood.

Sarah Hughes, i, *Books to Look Out For 2021*

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