REVIEW by Vicky MacKenzie

NWR Issue 106

The Book of the Needle

by Matthew Francis

This wonderful novel is the whimsical tale of Arise Evans, a seventeenth-century Welsh tailor turned prophet. But before you skip this review, frightened off by whimsy (shame on you!), allow me to re-gain your attention by saying that this is also an incredibly smart and funny book.

Why Matthew Francis isn’t a better-known writer is something of a mystery. He was a New Generation poet in 2004 and has published four collections with Faber & Faber. His first novel, WHOM, was published by Bloomsbury in 1989, and his short story collection, Singing a Man to Death (Cinnamon Press, 2012) was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year Award. Yet despite these credentials he remains below the radar for many readers of contemporary poetry and fiction...

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previous review: American Interior
next review: Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting


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