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The Dark Flood Rises

Francesca Stubbs holds our hand as we take a walk through old age and death. Fran brings us to drinks with her dear friends, dropping off mouth-watering suppers for Claude, her ex-husband, warm and cosy in his infirmity. She visits her daughter, Poppet, holed up as the waters rise in a sodden West Country, and texts her son Christopher in Lanzarote, as he deals with the estate of his shockingly deceased girlfriend. The questions of what constitutes a good death and how we understand it preoccupy this glittering novel.

The Dark Flood Rises asks momentous questions as it entertains and enthralls. In her beautifully imagined new book, Margaret Drabble is at her incisive best, exploring the end of life with her trademark humour, composure and wisdom.

Margaret Drabble
About the Author

Dame Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939 and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of seventeen highly acclaimed novels, including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, The Peppered Moth, The Red Queen and most recently The Sea Lady.She has also written biographies and screenplays, and was the editor of the Oxford...

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Extent:
320pp
Format:
Paperback
Text publication date:
31 October 2016
ISBN:
9781925355307
AU Price:
$29.99
NZ Price:
$37.00
Categories:
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Praise for Margaret Drabble
andThe Dark Flood Rises

‘Reading Margaret Drabble’s novels has become something of a rite of passage…Sharply observed, exquisitely companionable tales.’

‘One of the most versatile and accomplished writers of her generation.’

‘Drabble approaches the subjects of care for the disabled and one another, friendship and ageing with her customary intelligence and wisdom…she doesn’t disappoint.’

‘Writers of a certain vintage often fall into one of two camps: those whose creative powers are irrevocably on the wane and those who are at the height of their game. Margaret Drabble’s 18th novel, The Pure Gold Baby, is evidence, if we needed it, that the 74-year-old British novelist, biographer and critic fits firmly in the latter category.’

‘The author pulls of the tricky subject…with aplomb, even humour, never self-pity.’

‘insightful and wise…[it] chronicles the deep challenges of parenting under any circumstances—yet it also captures the almost unbearable vulnerability of being human.’

‘In determinedly not giving a pleasing shape to the story of Jess and Anna, Margaret Drabble has written a novel in which she has resisted the temptation to form it into a pleasing work of art, instead offering a picture of life as one thing after another. Yet it is a version of a good life that she very winningly offers us, a life irradiated by kindness.’

‘A magnificent novel that confirms Drabble’s status as a national treasure.’

‘We take heart from Drabble’s addition to the many voices that whisper of death from this enduring afterlife of letters. For all its morbidity, The Dark Flood Rises is a reassuringly vital novel’

‘Drabble has pulled off a quietly revolutionary portrait of an age-group whose lives are just as urgent as anyone’s, but are rarely considered’

‘Margaret Drabble’s meditation on old age and death is erudite, beautifully written, funny, tragic and definitely not for anyone over 60 who prefers an ostrich approach to the future’

‘Masterly, poignant and uplifting’

‘With echoes of Simone de Beauvoir and Samuel Beckett, this quiet meditation on old age seethes with apocalyptic intent’

‘In this novel, the dark flood is death itself, but trust Margaret Drabble to take even the most worrisome of topics and make it witty, relatable and, most importantly, readable’

The Dark Flood Rises is written with tremendous energy, presenting a stream of thought and activity broken solely by paragraph dividers. Drabble has always been an observant chronicler of human life’

‘A thoughtful and deep book…[Drabble’s] sharp intelligence and the wisdom of her remarkable life are laid out clearly and provokingly here. You could not find a better guide for the final journey.’

‘Entertaining and insightful and far from as gloomy as you might expect.’

‘An often exhilarating read. Speaking once more for her generation, Drabble has composed a quirky tribute to those ‘bravely battling on’.’

‘[Drabble] applies her signature humour, compassion and wisdom to deliberate on what constitutes a good life and a good death, from the viewpoint of the old and the bereaved.’

‘Engaging, informative, thoughtful and smart on detail…Hooray for Margaret Drabble.’

‘What a privilege it is to be able to read and enjoy [Drabble’s] wisdom…to share her thoughts on ageing and dying, put bluntly, without morbidity, and leavened by humour and an obvious enjoyment in engaging in her favourite occupation.’

‘[A] supremely wise novel…It’s a quiet epic…Drabble’s intricate mosaic of observation, meditation, and affectionate humour suggests that if there are answers, they lie in small things. Call no man happy until he dies, goes the old saying: but perhaps the odd moment of happiness can be enough.’

‘Luminously perceptive.’

‘As Drabble unfolds the interweaving stories of her cast, most of them in their seventies, she gently and adroitly brings them all to moving, poignant life…I don’t think anyone has written better about old age as we know it now…Drabble’s new work is to be welcomed, appreciated and celebrated.’

‘A commentary on celebrity and the influence of the media in convicting or acquitting regardless of the legal system, equity or the consequences for those involved. Most chillingly, Signal Loss portrays a world in which life is cheap and where the most vulnerable are traded and abused.’

‘The Dark Flood Rises pulls no punches about the indignities of “getting on”, lightened by brilliant writing and good humour.’

‘Searingly sad but often hilarious.’

‘The Dark Flood Rises (the title is taken from a poem by D.H. Lawrence) is not a therapeutic, eschatological, sociological, political or even philosophical novel. Never mind that it can be mistaken for any or all of these. In one way, it is a hymn to an inherited England, to its highways, gardens, streets, hotels, neighborhoods, landscapes, parking lots, stoneworks, cottages, secluded and public spaces…But this humane and masterly novel by one of Britain’s most dazzling writers is something else as well, deeper than mere philosophy: a praisesong for the tragical human predicament exactly as it has been ordained on Earth, our terminal house.’

‘An extraordinary jewel of a book…This is a work by a master of fiction and every library and school should rush to get a copy. It is a summation of what a woman of exceptional achievement and intelligence knows about writing and about life.’

Other editions ofThe Dark Flood Rises
  • The Dark Flood Rises
    ebook
    ISBN: 9781922253880
    31 October 2016
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byMargaret Drabble