Reviews

“The most powerful and original debut novel I’ve read for years” – A.N. Wilson

“Instantly beautiful in its calm and wise tone” – Robert Macfarlane, author of The Wild Places and The Old Ways

“Harrison, a nature writer if ever there was one, is reaching after something else – a communal style (reminiscent of that of Nan Shepherd a century ago) with a formal determination to meet shared needs. It’s beautifully written and doesn’t compromise” – Ali Smith, The New Statesman Books of the Year 2013

“Melissa Harrison effortlessly inserts her modern dystopian tale of loneliness and urban decay into the history of English landscape writing, which includes such disparate sensibilities as Wordsworth, Hardy and TH White” – Jane Smiley, Harper’s (USA)

“Brilliant and beautiful… Both an aching celebration and a lament” – The Literary Review

“An assured debut novel that reads like the work of a much more experienced author. Expect great things of Harrison” – The London Evening Standard

‘Country comes to town with lyrical, visceral power … She evokes with rhapsodic delight the animal and plant life that still flourishes amid the concrete and Tarmac’
i (Independent)

“A hymn to the hidden natural riches of the British city… in its loving yet unsentimental depictions of nature, the book is a great success” – TLS

“The wonderful power of her looking builds a quiet, cumulative poetry. An impressive debut” – Mark Cocker, author of Crow Country and Birds And People

“What never falters is the fierce and tender grace of her natural descriptions… As a nature-writer, Harrison has already, gloriously, blossomed; as a story-teller, she is still in bud. But every reader who cherishes even the scruffiest patch of urban greenery should rejoice in the ‘beloved territory’ she digs up in Clay” – Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

Clay addresses vital concerns about class and society in gorgeously precise prose… A novel like this only works when the author persuades you they can get into the heads of radically different characters with equal success – a challenge Harrison more than meets” – Metro

“Melissa Harrison’s lyrical, precise and beguiling debut novel manages a huge feat of scale, imbuing the absolutely ordinary and marginal with the long memory of place. It’s full of intricate human drama, but aches with something bigger and older. It has its own weather” – Paul Farley, author of Edgelands and The Atlantic Tunnel: Selected Poems

“Peppered with keenly observed descriptions” – The Observer

“It’s no surprise to learn that Melissa Harrison, the award-winning author of this thoughtful first novel, is also a photographer. Her strong visual sense is reflected in the lyrical, sharply-focused descriptions… An insightful study of common humanity and unintended inhumanity” – The Daily Mail

“Heartfelt, elegaic… lovingly observed” – The Sunday Times

“At the heart of Clay is a hymn to attentiveness, both to the natural world and to those we share it with. Stepping out after finishing this book, you may find yourself looking at your own streets with a little more care” – The Financial Times

“Lyrical yet spare, this is a heartbreaking and utterly involving read which builds to a quietly devastating finish” – We Love This Book

“Deeply felt… Harrison writes beautifully” – The Lady

“Harrison gives lovely expression to her vision of an ecosystem thrumming away beneath the grime of city life” – The Guardian

Clay is a loving portrait of nature and of human beings finding solace and comfort away from the concrete boundaries of urban life” – Attitude

“Harrison’s serene and measured style of writing does nothing to detract from the passion she has for her subject. This is a haunting, finely written story which will linger in the mind” – Red

“Harrison’s keenly observed depictions of the common’s wildness provide a vivid setting for the emotional struggles of her characters” – Marie Claire

“Graceful and poignant… Harrison’s great love for nature shines in her beautiful descriptions” – Booklist (USA)

“The willingness and ability to take seriously not only human presence in and around the park and its city but the presence of animals, plants, and inanimate objects alike, is Clay’s most stirring and striking quality… Harrison’s debut is a wonderful evocation of the complex rhythms of place and time” – Steve Himmer, Necessary Fiction (USA)

Advertisements

Read Melissa’s blog:

RSS Tales of the City