First published by Skylight Press in 2013 under the title of Before the Dawn, and now proudly reissued by us under a new title, this novel has been hailed as one of the greatest works of international fiction to emerge in the 21st century.
The writing of it began four decades before it was first published, after it‘s author, Rupert Copping, returned to the UK as a young man from Ecuador, the country where he grew up. It was this upbringing that compelled him to write a story based on the unremitting exploitation he had witnessed of indigenous people and their mountain forest habitat.
The story is told entirely from the point of view of an indigenous tribe, descended from an ancient empire, living in isolation from the ‘civilized‘ world. Their way of life is no idyllic Eden before the Fall. It contains cruelty and injustice, but it is their world. Copping explores the complexities of tribal life through four main characters; a chief, his wife, his mistress, and a disgraced elder. The outside forces that swirl around and seep into their isolated enclave are complicated and circuitous, pitting native, invader, revolutionary and reactionary against each other. Rich in imagination, language, and environmental concerns this novel takes the reader from ancient ritual to catastrophic collision with the modern world.
Best book of the year and one of the greatest of this century. Sure to be a counter cultural classic. Ray Mackenzie
Welshman Huw Lloyd Jones’ life seems perfect: he teaches Creative Writing at a charming college in the American South, and is happy with Miranda, his beautiful wife. But then he discovers that his despotic boss, Frida Shamburger, has it in for him, and Miranda’s love is more tenuous than he supposed. Huw must fight to save his job and marriage. But can a middle-aged white man survive in the woke jungle of academia? And with a manipulative psychiatrist and a women’s empowerment guru encouraging Miranda to be more independent, can the couple’s love prevail?
‘In Our Parent Who Art in Heaven, Powell has penned what may be the anti-woke campus novel of our times, a rollicking satire equal to the wittiest and most keenly observed of Tom Sharpe and Evelyn Waugh.‘ David Joiner, author of Lotusland
Garry Craig Powell was educated at Cambridge University, and taught Creative Writing for many years at an American university. His story collection, Stoning the Devil (Skylight, 2012), was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2013. He lives in northern Portugal
Length: 272 pp.
In the Scottish folklore of former times stories can be gleaned of foreign sailors shipwrecked on the Islands and Highlands. One such legend tells of a love affair between a Spanish sailor and the beautiful wife of a cruel laird. This on the one hand. On the other there is history. In 1719, as part of the Jacobite Rebellion, a battalion of 300 Spanish soldiers disembarked near Eilean Donan Castle. It was the last invasion by foreign troops of mainland Britain and culminated in the remarkable Battle of Glenshiel.
R P Carruthers, who is bilingual, and knows both Spain and Scotland well, has written what we at Flame Books believe is destined to become one of the great historical novels of our times. Weaving together legend and historical fact, Carruthers reveals the conflicting events surrounding the battle of Glenshiel, and, in the midst of it all, the strangely fated love affair between a Highland woman and a Spanish army officer. No light hearted whimsical romp, this meticulously researched story explores the follies and complexities of the human soul as it builds steadily and inexorably to a gripping and dramatic conclusion.