A woman's struggle to find happiness and independence in 1920's society.
When Willa's handsome sailor-husband Tommy sets off on an exotic round-the-world tour with the Royal Navy she is left behind in a small Edinburgh flat with a baby and a controlling mother-in-law. Her only escape is through reading books and it is at the local library that she meets Richard Fitzwilliam, whose friendship gradually begins to open up new horizons. A new life is being offered to her. But can she take it when Tommy's steady progress around the world will eventually bring him home?
(pub. Allison & Busby 2007)
"A reputation like Joan Lingard's needs no enhancement, but After You've Gone will do the job all the same. Newcomers to her work will doubtless be seduced by the simplicity and directness she's acquired in a career that spans 14 books for adults and more than 40 for children."
In January, 1920, there are two occurrences in the remote, impoverished Spanish village of Yegen, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada: the birth of Encarnita and the arrival of the young English writer Gerald Brenan, who has come to live in their midst. He brings with him two thousand books, new ideas and new people. His visitors include the writers Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge and the artist Dora Carrington.
The novel charts the life of Encarnita through eighty years of great change in Spain, from childhood in Yegen to adulthood in AlmuÃ±ecar, where she encounters the poet Laurie Lee and also a young Scotsman who has fought in the International Brigade and is on the run from Franco's men. She passes her later years in the fishing village of Nerja but she has a final stage in her journey to make, to Edinburgh ...
(pub. Allison & Busby 2005)
" Compelling ... Encarnita's Journey is a life affirming tale ... Lingard is one of the most satisfying writers of novels which weave past and present."
When Cormac, an Edinburgh-based art teacher and sculptor, tried to transmit his passion for Rodin to his pupils he finds his words tend to fall on stony ground. There is one exception, a beautiful and fiercely intelligent girl, Clarinda. She is his keenest and most ardent student.
On a school trip to Paris she becomes obsessed by the life of the painter Gwen John, in particular her affair with Rodin. When she begins to mirror her relationship by becoming obsessed with her own mentor, Cormac's life is thrown into confusion.
(pub. Allison & Busby 2002)
A remarkably assured piece of writing ... The narrative is exquisitely constructed ... Touchingly authentic.
1913. Europe is on the brink of war and Russia is moving towards revolution. The narrative ranges between the three northern ports of Aberdeen, St Petersburg and Riga, charting the lives of twins Lily and Garnet and their Russian and Latvian husbands. The period it covers is the tumultuous one of 1913 to 1953, with a perspective forward to 1993 when Latvia achieves independence for the second time.
(pub. Sinclair-Stevenson 1995)
A literary saga in which the cataclysmic events of the Russian revolution are mirrored by the birth pangs of nationalism in Latvia. A love story and a tragedy of Grecian intensity, containing also the elements of the political thriller, it demands ot be read.
Amy Balfour, alias Aimee Bussac, a woman of few possessions, who has always perched on the edge of survival, vanishes. She is last seen getting into a taxi in the rue de Grenelle in Paris.
The narrator of the novel is Amy's cousin, who sets out to build up a mosaic of Amy's life in an attempt to trace the steps that led to her disappearance. As a performing artist, she has played the writer Colette in one-woman shows around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival.
(I wrote this novel after my friend, the performing artist Nancy Cole, who used to portray Gertrude Stein at the festival, disappeared in Austin, Texas. She has never been found. J.L.)
(pub. Sinclair-Stevenson 1993)
Joan Lingard performs a delicate balance between different strands of source material to create an engaging and intriguing story.
Times Literary Supplement
The Women's House (Hamish Hamilton 1989)
Reasonable Doubts (Hamish Hamilton 1986)
Sisters by Rite (Hamish Hamilton 1984)
Greenyards (Hamish Hamilton 1981)
The Second Flowering of Emily Mountjoy (Paul Harris 1979)
The Lord On Our Side (Hodder 1970)
A Sort of Freedom (Hodder 1968)
The Headmaster (Hodder 1967)
The Tide Comes In (Hodder 1966)
The Prevailing Wind (Hodder 1964)
Liam's Daughter (Hodder 1963)