Publication Date: 20/04/2022 ISBN: 9781913097813 Category:


Daisy Hildyard

Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Publication Date: 20/04/2022 ISBN: 9781913097813 Category:
Paperback / Softback




Emergency is a novel about the dissolving boundaries between all life on earth. Stuck at home alone under lockdown, a woman recounts her 1990s childhood in rural Yorkshire. She watches a kestrel hunting, helps a farmer with a renegade bull, and plays out with her best friend, Clare. Around her in the village her neighbours are arguing, keeping secrets, caring for one another, trying to hold down jobs. In the woods and quarry there are foxcubs fighting, plants competing for space, ageing machines, and a three-legged deer who likes cake. These local phenomena interconnect and spread out from China to Nicaragua as pesticides circulate, money flows around the planet, and bodies feel the force of distant power. A story of remote violence and a work of praise for a persistently lively world, brilliantly written, surprising, evocative and unsettling, Daisy Hildyard’s Emergency reinvents the pastoral novel for the climate change era.

Publisher Review

'Rich and unflinching, this writing expands our sense of what it means to live, as we do, in a time of crisis. It leads us beyond rational climate debates into the deeply sensual, and sometimes nightmarish, places where our inner and outer worlds make contact.' - Katharine Kilalea, author of OK, Mr Field 'In this powerfully attuned novel, the world presses in on all sides, refusing to become background. From the discarded plastics of the narrator's childhood, now circulating microscopically in the world around her as an adult, to the journey of grass through the bodies of animals and back out to the field as fertiliser, Emergency shows us the cost, as well as the conflicted splendour, of a world that is "fatally interconnected". Its prose is bewitching and uncompromising, alive to the enmeshing of cruelty with care that articulates our shared - human and nonhuman - existence.' - Daisy Lafarge, author of Paul 'Emergency is an incisive kaleidoscope of past and present, nature and industry, stillness and pace, collapsing all into a tapestry of consciousness.' - Aysegul Savas, author of Walking on the Ceiling 'Hildyard's writing stretches the mind.' - Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun 'Emergency is a strange and luminously original novel. Daisy Hildyard writes about childhood with a kind of ecstatic detachment, dissolving the boundaries between past and present, and between human and animal life. I find her work exhilarating and subtly provocative. There is, as far as I'm aware, nothing else quite like it in contemporary English-language fiction.' - Mark O'Connell, author of Notes from an Apocalypse

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible