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In Our Mad and Furious City


Long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
Short-listed for the 2018 Gordon Burn Prize
Short-listed for the 2018 Goldsmiths Prize

Inspired by the real-life murder of a British army soldier by religious fanatics, Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious Cityis a snapshot of the diverse, frenzied edges of modern-day London. A crackling debut from a vital new voice, it pulses with the frantic energy of the city’s homegrown grime music and is animated by the youthful rage of a dispossessed, overlooked, and often misrepresented generation.

While Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf organize their lives around soccer, girls, and grime, Caroline and Nelson struggle to overcome pasts that haunt them. Each voice is uniquely insightful, impassioned, and unforgettable, and when stitched together, they trace a brutal and vibrant tapestry of today’s London. In a forty-eight-hour surge of extremism and violence, their lives are inexorably drawn together in the lead-up to an explosive, tragic climax.

In Our Mad and Furious City documents the stark disparities and bubbling fury coursing beneath the prosperous surface of a city uniquely on the brink. Written in the distinctive vernaculars of contemporary London, the novel challenges the ways in which we coexist now―and, more important, the ways in which we often fail to do so.

""Gunaratne has a gift for inhabiting the lives of his characters, and has used that gift here to give voice to Londoners who are not often seen in contemporary fiction, and who will recognize themselves in this very fine novel―wearing the same trainers, speaking the same road slang, rolling out of the same school gates." ―Jon McGregor, The New York Times Book Review

"Even as this book turns tragic, it remains utterly alive, even joyous. . . every page, by dint of sheer linguistic exuberance, carries its own adventure." ―James Wood, The New Yorker

"Guy Gunaratne throws words against the wall and makes us watch them bounce. You feel the heat, reel from the sound, and bump to the unstoppable pulse. A novel so of this moment that you don't even realize you've waited your whole life for it." ―Marlon James, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

“A novel that’s a piece of communal vitality, choral in its urgency, one that squares up to the history of division, makes contemporary disjuncture come alive on the page, doesn’t flinch, and demands change right now.” ―Ali Smith, The Guardian

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