They: The Lost Dystopian 'Masterpiece' (Emily St. John Mandel)
As heard on BBC Radio 4's Front Row: the radical dystopian classic, lost for forty years: in a nightmarish Britain, THEY are coming closer.
'A creepily prescient tale ... Insidiously horrifying!' Margaret Atwood 'A masterpiece of creeping dread.' Emily St. John Mandel
This is Britain: but not as we know it. THEY begin with a dead dog, shadowy footsteps, confiscated books. Soon the National Gallery is purged; eerie towers survey the coast; mobs stalk the countryside destroying artworks - and those who resist. THEY capture dissidents - writers, painters, musicians, even the unmarried and childless - in military sweeps, 'curing' these subversives of individual identity. Survivors gather together as cultural refugees, preserving their crafts, creating, loving and remembering. But THEY make it easier to forget ...
Lost for half a century, newly introduced by Carmen Maria Machado, Kay Dick's They (1977) is a rediscovered dystopian masterpiece of art under attack: a cry from the soul against censorship, a radical celebration of non-conformity - and a warning.'Every bit as creepy, tense and strange as when I first read it 40 years ago.' Ian Rankin 'Delicious and sexy and downright chilling ... Read it!' Rumaan Alam 'Crystalline ... The signature of an enchantress.' Edna O'Brien 'I'm pretty wild about this paranoid, terrifying 1977 masterpiece.' Lauren Groff 'Deft, dread filled, hypnotic and hopeful. Completely got under my skin.' Kiran Millwood Hargrave 'Lush, hypnotic, compulsive ... A reminder of where groupthink leads.' Eimear McBride 'A masterwork of English pastoral horror: eerie and bewitching.' Claire-Louise Bennett 'A short shocker: creepy, disturbing, distressing and highly enjoyable.' Andrew Hunter Murray 'Prophetic, chilling and a reminder from the past that we have everything to fight for in the future.' Salena Godden
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