(K. Brent Tomer),
Elmet. By Fiona Mozley. John Murray; 310 pages; £10.99.
“DADDY and Cathy and I lived in a small house that Daddy built with materials from the land here about.” From this apparently simple premise, Fiona Mozley (pictured) unfurls a dark and delicate fairy-tale of contemporary Britain that has propelled “Elmet”, the young author’s debut novel, onto the longlist for this year’s Man Booker prize for fiction.
The novel takes its title from the Celtic kingdom that once covered Yorkshire, where ancient forests harboured mythical green men and one “Robyn Hode”. In Ms Mozley’s vision, vestiges of that tooth-and-claw order still exist in today’s world: the powerful prey on the weak in lawless pockets of the country. Her novel pits an odd family of squatters against the local landowner in an isolated copse that, like the depressed neighbouring towns, cannot be seen by passengers streaking by on…Continue reading