An Experiment in Leisure
‘I adore this book! … An Experiment in Leisure shows us the burning, intense, messy beauty of youth and what it means to be alive’ Maxine Peake
‘Can I get a refund?’ I asked the bus driver.
‘You taking the piss, love?’
It’s January 2015, and Grace is supposed to have what she wants. She’s swapped West Yorkshire for north London, her accent carefully edited and with a Cambridge degree under her belt. Her friends drink beer out of artful tins. She makes flat whites for people with berets. She’s found a psychoanalyst.
But this fantasy of metropolitan cool is turning out to be more costly than she thought, and Grace is running out of credit. Painfully adrift from her mother and twin sister and trying desperately both to forget her roots and disown her ambition, she’s lost and confused in the face of complicated crises of identity, class, sex and geography. She finds herself fleeing up and down a country on the verge of an intractable schism, and begins to reckon with her own divisions. Can she find a life amid these contradictions? Can she remember how to love?
‘A dizzying yet powerful read’ Claire-Louise Bennett
An Experiment in Leisure is an absolutely riveting novel that is both full of life and full of loneliness. Glendenning's words blaze and bounce across the page, brilliantly evoking the bizarre paradox that dogs early adulthood - namely, feeling intensely self-conscious despite possessing only the merest most nascent sense of having a self. A dizzying yet powerful read -- Claire-Louise Bennett I adore this book! It's a short, sharp shot of oxygen straight to the soul. An exquisite mix of agonising pain and unbridled joy. An Experiment in Leisure shows us the burning, intense, messy beauty of youth and what it means to be alive -- Maxine Peake A stunning, vivid and very funny debut about loss, family and the search for self-knowledge and a meaningful life. It's about the language of the heart, and how encountering those who speak a common tongue can shape the course of a life -- Saskia Vogel This is such a special book. With deeply joyful pace, and rhythm, I grew as obsessed with the prose itself as I did with the plot and characters. As things in the Big World seem to get more binary, An Experiment in Leisure plunders the grey area with wit and forgiveness - and that's exactly where I wanted to be -- Tom Rasmussen
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