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  • Virago

A Bowl of Cherries

Shena Mackay

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Virago Modern Classics, Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A classic novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of The Orchard on Fire.

In A Bowl of Cherries Shena Mackay tells the story of twin brothers whose lives are inexorably intertwined: Rex, a self-absorbed and successful writer, and Stanley, a minor poet who works as a dishwasher. Rex lives on the family estate being the older of the twins by one minute with his unhappy wife, Daphne, who writes children's books. Their overweight daughter, Daisy, lives nearby, and as a result of a guilty secret of her own, has married an overbearing, misogynist, and skinflint husband, Julian. Rex's illegitimate son, Seamus, 14, discovers Daisy quite by accident and their relationship blossoms despite the many flawed characters that surround them. He carries a family secret that proves to be devastating, but which ultimately releases his half-sister Daisy from her torments.

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Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh in 1944. Her writing career began when she won a prize for a poem written when she was fourteen. Two novellas, Dust Falls on Eugene Schlumberger and Toddler on the Run were published before she was twenty. Redhill Rococo won the 1987 Fawcett Prize, Dunedin won a 1994 Scottish Arts Council Book Award, The Orchard on Fire was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize and, in 2003, Heligoland was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and Whitbread Novel Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Southampton.

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