Cuddy: Winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize

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Cuddy: Winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize

Cuddy: Winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize

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Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras - from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the 8th century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity. If all of this sounds too heady or terribly uninteresting, there is good news: The five narratives which contribute to the book's overarching story are excellent.

The middle two parts less so though I did enjoy Myers's take on the 19th century epistolary style (well, diary, not letters). The pacing, sense of place and period, and the personal stories of its protagonists in Cuddy grip from the beginning and keep a firm hold right through its 400+ pages. This book is a challenge no doubt, and demands perseverance from its readers, not all of whom will want to take on the trouble of that task.

The style of each book differs greatly (the first book is written in verse, there's an interlude written as a script for a play, the third book is a diary, the fourth is in lyrical prose), but somehow the novel remains cohesive, probably because the presence of St. The writing was gorgeous, the characters were so well written and everything about this book was spellbinding. I think this is the reaction many readers will have, as every different style Myers uses is going to appeal to different people.

Having walked along the garlic-infused hillside between the cathedral and the River Wear on a gloomy early spring day, though, I could at least appreciate the gothic sensibility of the 19th century section. But, they are of course linked by a shared sense of place and a history which ultimately binds them together, if not as seamlessly as one might expect. Myers creates characters and voices so absorbing that when the timeline jumps forward you are reluctant to leave them, only for the next protagonist to become the centre of your world until it is time to move on again. We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. and from Cuthbert's history, dressed up in fictional packaging that was sometimes very beautiful and sometimes dismayingly forced.It is true to say that Cuddy is difficult to get into at first, because the first part is the story of the wandering band that carry Cuddy's body throughout North England. Cuddy is a shortened form of Cuthbert and refers to St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, a seventh century shepherd boy who became a monk and then prior of Melrose Abbey and finally a hermit on the island of Lindisfarne. I found it a little hard to get going with reading this as the mix of styles and forms used to move through the vast period of history covered in this retelling of the story and legacy of Saint Cuthbert from Lindisfarne to Dunhelm and Durham of today, was challenging- the last section is largely contemporary and very touching, and caused me to go back and re-read the earlier sections, and realise what an amazing success this book is - intentionally fitting form to content over the centuries. Book two is delivered in monolithic slabs of language, monumental as the blocks of stone that made the cathedral itself. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

He is an award-winning author and journalist whose recent novel Cuddy (2023) won the Goldsmiths Prize. Cuthbert’s coffin to Durham, the narrator is a girl who has visions and is able to talk to the saint directly, in which we get glimpses of his life. Then after his death his body was taken from Lindisfarne all the way to Durham and the cathedral was built to keep him.

After having adjusted to the wild prose poem of the first section, and then enjoying the lyrical medieval romp of the second section, I was disappointed that the remaining sections grew increasingly conventional with more occasional bursts of beauty. Section 2, a stream of consciousness novella about an affair after the building of Durham Cathedral, I enjoyed. A man who lived alone on a rocky island in the North Sea, preferring the solitude and the wild birds to the company of men. It is accepted by you that Daunt Books has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance.

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