Everything You Need by A. L. Kennedy

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Synopsis

From the prodigiously talented A. L. Kennedy comes a flamboyantly stylish and fiercely emotional novel about fathers and daughters, creation and self-destruction, and love’s paradoxical power to heal its most devastated victims. One such victim is Nathan Staples, a writer whose hilarious contempt for humanity is surpassed only by his corrosive self-loathing. Along with five equally dysfunctional colleagues Nathan lives on an island retreat off the coast of Wales, where he yearns for the daughter he lost years before. Now, in defiance of all his hopes, Mary Lamb–herself an aspiring writer–is about to join him as the seventh member of the colony.

As Nathan tortuously wins the trust of the child who has no inkling of their true relationship, Mary comes to a gradual understanding of her gift. In Everything You Need, A. L. Kennedy combines the mythic resonance of Arthurian legend with a sensibility as lyrical as it is profane.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About A. L. Kennedy

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A. L. Kennedy has published four previous novels, one book of non-fiction, and one collection of short stories, Indelible Acts. She has twice been selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and has won a number of prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book fo the Year Award. She lives in Glasgow and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at St. Andrews.From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 559 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Everything You Need

Kirkus Reviews

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The focus, though, keeps returning to Nathan’s patient stewardship of Mary’s sensibility and career (each year she spends under his tutelage is dedicated to following one of Nathan’s gnomic “rules”—such as “Pay attention to everything,” and “Do it for love”).

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The New York Times

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The other is Mary Lamb, a young would-be novelist who is about to spend seven years as Nathan's apprentice on Foal Island, a writers' colony of a most peculiar kind.

Aug 05 2001 | Read Full Review of Everything You Need

Publishers Weekly

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Parents of preschoolers are probably familiar with the PBS children's series Between the Lions , which features a family of warm and fuzzy lion librarians and their cubs and friends.

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Publishers Weekly

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Mary Lamb makes the seventh member of the Fellowship, and she has no idea that Nathan is her father, or why she was chosen for her stipend or, for much of her residency on Foal Island, the nature of the Fellowship and their odd frequency of incidents "in the risk-taking area."

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Entertainment Weekly

In Everything You Need, Mary Lamb -- getting her hind legs as an author at age 19 -- ships off for a seven-year stint at Foal Island, a writers' colony combining the salient features of a summer camp and a cult compound.

Aug 17 2001 | Read Full Review of Everything You Need

London Review of Books

Kennedy’s latest novel, its chief character and overriding consciousness, Nathan Staples, a successful writer of horror fiction, emerges slowly from a bout of compulsive masochistic fantasies, puts Glenn Gould on his CD player, and gets ready to hang himself from an iron hook in the central beam ...

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