Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins is the rapturously received companion to Life After Life, the best selling adult book in Britain so far this year.
Kate Atkinson’s dazzling Life After Life, the bestselling adult book this year in the UK, explored the possibility of infinite chances, as Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have. Kate Atkinson’s legions of fans have greeted this latest offering with rapturous applause.
A God in Ruins and will prove once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.
Obsessional Kate Atkinson fans have been over-the-top enthusiastic about her latest offering. As one wrote: “A review may be written when I recovered from reading this wonderful novel.”
A review in The New York Times observed that Atkinson “does not write about vampires or werewolves or women exploring their inner goddesses with a little sadomasochistic sex. Nor does she continually produce variations on a theme or even variations within a genre. Her writing is funny and quirky and sharp and sad — calamity laced with humor — and full of quietly heroic characters…
“Atkinson’s true genius is structure. Her books wend forward and backward, follow multiple stories from multiple points of view, throw dozens of balls up in the air — but always conclude with loose ends tied up, so that everything makes sense.”
Kate Atkinson’s plots are influenced by the fairy tales she grew up on, stories that are logically preposterous but have very structured moral universes. She told The New York Times: “The legacy of the fairy story in my brain is that everything will work out. In fiction it
would be very hard for me, as a writer, to give a bad ending to a good character, or give a good ending to a bad character. That’s probably not a very postmodern thing to say.”
Kate Atkinson was born in York in 1951 and now lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, published in 1995, won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and she has been a critically acclaimed international bestselling writer ever since. She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, and One Good Turn.
Case Histories introduced her readers to Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, and won the Saltire Book of the Year Award and the Prix Westminster. Others detective novels featuring Brodie include One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News?