Picador Classic

3.93 based on 4937 ratings & 309 reviews on Goodreads.com

Publication date: 15.12.2014
ISBN: 9781447275510
Number of pages: 0


With an introduction by John Burnside

Shortlisted for the 1983 Booker prize, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize.

Children, only animals live entirely in the Here and Now. Only nature knows neither memory nor history. But man - let me offer you a definition - is the story-telling animal.

Tom Crick is a passionate teacher, but before he is forced into retirement by scandal, he has one last history lesson to deliver: his own. Spanning more than 200 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a visionary tale of England's mysterious Fen country. Taking in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the discovery of a body and a tragic family romance, this is an extraordinary novel about the heartless sweep of history and man's changing place within it.

In the years since its first publication in 1983, Graham Swift's Waterland has established itself as a much-loved classic of twentieth-century British literature. It was shortlisted for the Booker prize, won the Guardian Fiction Prize and has been adapted into a film starring Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke.

In the media

A 300-page tour de force . . . A burst of exuberant fictive energy
Evening Standard
Graham Swift has mapped his Waterland like a new Wessex. He appropriates the Fens as Moby Dick did whaling or Wuthering Heights the moors. This is a beautiful, serious and intelligent novel, admirably ambitious and original
Waterland, like the Hardy novels, carries with all else a profound knowledge of a people, a place, and their interweaving . . . Swift tells his tale with wonderful contemporary verve and verbal felicity . . . A fine and original work
Los Angeles Times