Melissa Harrison

A masterful evocation of the rhythms of the natural world and pastoral life, Melissa Harrison discusses her new novel with writer and journalist Alex Preston. Set amid a Suffolk farming community between the wars, this is the coming-of-age story of Edie Mather, growing up on her beloved home of Wych Farm. The arrival of a glamorous and worldly stranger from London at first seems a godsend for Edie, soon to face the unsettling pressures of adulthood. Constance FitzAllen has come to record the vanishing rural traditions and beliefs of rural life. But there is more to the older woman than meets the eye.

Melissa expertly weaves together folklore, the dangers of nostalgia, the shadow of the Great War and the looming threat of fascism with lyrical descriptions of the landscape and the rhythms of the natural world. Her previous novels are Clay and At Hawthorn Time, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize. Her non-fiction work, Rain, was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize. She is a nature writer, critic and columnist for The Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian, among others. She divides her time between London and Suffolk.

Melissa will be in conversation with author and journalist Alex Preston.