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Category: Fiction / General
Publication date: 1 March 2012
Number of pages: 304
Prizes: Winner of Desmond Elliott Prize 2012.
Winner of Betty Trask Prize 2013.
Judith and her father don't have much - their house is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother she's never known. But Judith sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith, and where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility. Bullied at school, she finds solace in making a model of the Promised Land - little people made from pipe cleaners, a sliver of moon, luminous stars and a mirror sea - a world of wonder that Judith calls The Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow indoors (using shaving foam and cotton wool and cellophane) there will be no school on Monday...Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. She has performed her first miracle. And that's when her troubles begin. With its intensely taut storytelling and gorgeous prose, "The Land of Decoration" is a heartbreaking story of good and evil, belief and doubt. Its author, Grace McCleen, is a blazing new talent in contemporary literature.
What the papers say:
"This is an intensely personal story, but told with a lightness of touch and air of magic. But most of all, the novel is - clearly and excitingly - the work of a major new writer, which promises much more to come." -- Nigella Lawson Mail on Sunday "Book of the year - both sinister and sharply intriguing, with a completely convincing 11-year-old narrator caught in fundamentalism, school persecution and the edge of the miraculous." -- A S Byatt The Guardian "Grace McCleen's writing is deep, fantastical and powerful ... She has been able to observe a fascinating world with generosity, wonder and spirit. A wonderful gem of a debut" -- Viv Groskop Independent on Sunday "This extraordinary tale of one little girl's End Times grabbed me by the throat. The Land of Decoration is part social observation and part crazy mysticism, held together by a brutally real story of parent-child love" -- Emma Donoghue, Author Of 'room' "Loveable, unique and thrillingly uncatergorisable... This is an extraordinary and peculiarly haunting novel" -- Chris Cleave Financial Times
Grace McCleen lives in London. The Land of Decoration is her first novel.
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