Letters from an Unknown Woman: A Novel

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Arcade Pub., 2011 - Fiction - 339 pages
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With her children evacuated and her husband at the front, Tory Pace is grudgingly sharing the family home with her irascible mother; working at the local gelatin factory—to help the war effort—and generally doing just about as well as could be expected in difficult times. Her quiet life is thrown into turmoil, however, when her prisoner-of-war husband, Donald, makes an outrageous demand for sexual gratification. He wants a dirty letter! Horrified, at first, that Donald is being turned into some sort of monster by the Nazis, Tory’s disgust gradually gives way to a sense of marital duty, and taking in the libraries, bookshops, public conveniences and barbers’ shops of South-East London, she begins a quest to master the language of carnal desire: a quest that takes a sudden and unexpected turn into far more dangerous territory. Beginning with an act of unintentional cannibalism, and flirting with a scheme to end world hunger by the use of protein pills, Letters from an Unknown Woman ranges widely across the Continent and yet always returns home: to family, to people, to relationships. Woodward offers a prescient examination of the ways in which we both nurture and consume each other in the face of adversity.

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Letters from an Unknown Woman

User Review  - Carly Thompson - Book Verdict

Tory Pace is an ordinary London housewife doing her bit for the war effort in the early days of World War II. Her children have been evacuated to the countryside, her meddlesome mother has moved in ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

Gerard Woodward is the author of the Booker Prize finalist I'll Go to Bed at Noon and A Curious Earth . He was born in London in 1961, and published several prize-winning collections of poetry before turning to fiction.He is a professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University andlives in Bath, England.

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