Exeter alumnus Nicholas Royle (1976, English), Professor of English at the University of Sussex, has published his latest novel, An English Guide to Birdwatching. His second novel (and 13th book), An English Guide to Birdwatching combines a page-turning story about literary theft, adultery and ambition with a profound and deeply moving investigation into our relationship to birds (from bird-watching to bird mythology to endangered species), to one another and to the planet.
The book has received considerable acclaim. The Big Issue wrote that An English Guide to Birdwatching is ‘An ambitious and far-reaching work that tackles many subjects… but most of all, it’s about language: how vocabulary, tone, emphasis, linguistic provenance, double meanings, even rhythm define the way we consume every aspect of life…’ Alex Preston of the Financial Times wrote ‘This is a novel operating at the outer edges of the form, deep in the avant-garde. If you like that kind of thing (which I do), then there’s much to admire here… this is a novel that will charm, unsettle and baffle in equal measure.’
Professor Royle’s first novel, Quilt, was published in 2010. Facing the disarray and disorientation around his father’s death, a man contends with the strange and haunting power of the house his parents once lived in as he sets about the mundane yet exhausting process of sorting through the remnants of his father’s life.
Both novels are published by Myriad. You can find out more about Professor Royle and his novels on Myriad’s website. Also available is a recording of Professor Royle and writer and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips discussing how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other. The podcast, recorded at the Freud Museum, is available to listen to by clicking here.