Author(s): Fiona Mozley
Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted.
When they were younger, Daniel and Cathy had gone to school. But they were not like the other children then, and they were even less like them now. Sometimes Daddy disappeared, and would return with a rage in his eyes. But when he was at home he was at peace. He told them that the little copse in Elmet was theirs alone. But that wasn't true. Local men, greedy and watchful, began to circle like vultures. All the while, the terrible violence in Daddy grew.
Atmospheric and unsettling, Elmet is a lyrical commentary on contemporary society and one family's precarious place in it, as well as an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can go.
Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2017
A quiet explosion of a book, exquisite and unforgettable' --The Economist
'A cleverly constructed rural Gothic fable . . . Elmet is a marvellous achievement' --TLS
'Pastoral idyll, political expose, cosy family saga and horror tale, it reads like a traditional children's story that turns into a gangster film: Hansel and Gretel meets The Godfather' --Sunday Times
A forceful first novel * The Times *
If Mozley's evocation of rural life bears some of the hallmarks of social realism . . . Elmet is closer to a suspense thriller in its pacing and structure . . . Its longlisting for this year's Man Booker Prize is unsurprising, as it fits the Booker mould perfectly: engagingly plot-driven, with just enough cleverness to get you thinking, but not so much as to trouble you unduly * The Spectator *
A cleverly constructed rural Gothic fable written in palatably simple prose . . . Elmet is a marvellous achievement * TLS *
Mozley performs lyrical feats of portraiture . . . a novel that straddles the centuries, simultaneously modern and backward-looking, Hardeyesque yet fully engaged with contemporary politics * Literary Review *
Thrums with all the energy and life of the forests that surround the family . . . Rhythmic and lilting, the writing is dreamily poetic . . . Elmet is a rich and earthy tale of family life, sibling relationships, identity, how we define community and the power struggles inherent to so many different dynamics. Above all, it is a meditation on ownership - of people, animals and places - and the fact that these notions, however seemingly fixed, are all in a constant state of flux * Financial Times *
Mozley is the breakout star of this year's Man Booker Prize longlist. And with good reason: Elmet, with its rugged landscape, violence and high emotion, recalls Wuthering Heights written with a wholly new voice. This debut is the start of something big * Stylist *
This is brave new writing, furrowing a rich vein of Yorkshire gothic, using the region's language and landscape to chronicle a tale of an odd family under siege . . . It's a darn good story told in short sentences, true to the voice of its young narrator. Read it and rejoice in a new literary discovery * The Press *
Mozley is a gifted writer . . . Pastoral idyll, political expose, cosy family saga and horror tale, it reads like a traditional children's story that turns into a gangster film: Hansel and Gretel meets The Godfather * Sunday Times * At its best, it reminds you of Cormac McCarthy's The Road * Metro *
A brooding study of family and belonging * Daily Telegraph *
A fantastic, taut, very strange novel * BBC Radio 4, Front Row *
The scattered moments of raw talent are arresting * The Times *
A book that blew me away . . . this was the most suspenseful, peculiar, moving book * Arifa Akbar, BBC 5 Live *
A work of troubling beauty . . . Brutal, bleak, ethereal, Mozley's novel combines parable with urgent contemporary truths about dispossession and exploitation. Reading Elmet leaves the metallic taste of blood in the mouth: centuries old, yet as fresh as today * New Statesman *
There is a hint of Grimms' Fairy Tales in the blending of the pastoral and the macabre, and Mozley has a lot of fun showing how an unconventional childhood can be both inspirational and scary . . . one looks forward to more from the same pen * Mail on Sunday *
An impressive slice of contemporary noir steeped in Yorkshire legend . . . Elmet possesses a rich and unfussy lyricism * Guardian *
Ms Mozley writes with clarity and insight, and her descriptions of the natural world and human relationships are both specific and profound . . . Elmet is a quiet explosion of a book, exquisite and unforgettable. It is hard not to feel that at 29, Ms Mozley has only just begun * The Economist *
A stunning debut . . . It may be the best thing about the Booker too despite its oddness, or perhaps because of it . . . Elmet is in so many ways a wonder to behold. It is also this year's David among the predictable Goliaths on the Booker list. How thrilling if David were to win against them * Evening Standard *
Fiona Mozley was born in Hackney but grew up in York and studied at Cambridge before moving to Buenos Aires for a year - without speaking any Spanish. After briefly working at a literary agency in London, she moved back to York to complete a PhD in Medieval Studies. She also has a weekend job at The Little Apple Bookshop in York. Elmet is her first novel and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.