Hild will be out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2013
From the Publisher
Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.
Hild is the king's youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world – of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing her surroundings closely and predicting what will happen next – that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her.
She establishes a place for herself in court as the king’s seer. And she is indispensible – unless she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family and loved ones, and for the increasing numbers of those who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.
Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early medieval age – all of it brilliantly, and accurately, evoked by Nicola Griffith’s incandescent prose. Working from what little historical record is extant, Griffith has brought a beautiful, brutal world – and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby – to vivid, absorbing life.
"Vivid, vital, and visceral, Hild's history reads like a thriller." — Val McDermid
"What a fabulous book! Hild has all the joys of historical fiction—transportation into a strange, finely detailed world—along with complex characters and a beautiful evocation of the natural world. But the tensions of the gathering plot make Hild feel like a quick read—too quick! I fell into this world completely and was sorry to come out. Truly, truly remarkable." — Karen Joy Fowler
"You could describe Hild as being like Game of Thrones without the dragons, but this is so much deeper than that, so much richer. A glorious, rich, intensely passionate walk through an entirely real landscape, Hild leads us into the dark ages and makes them light, and tense, and edgy and deeply moving. The research is pitch perfect, the characters fully alive. If it wasn't like this, it should have been—and I'm sure that it was! " — Manda Scott
"Nicola Griffith is an awe-inspiring visionary, and I am telling everyone to snatch this book up as soon as it is published. Hild is not just one of the best historical novels I have ever read—I think it's one of the best novels, period. It sings with pitch perfect emotional resonance and I damn well believe in this woman and every one she engages. I finished the book full of gratitude that it exists, and longing for more." — Dorothy Allison
"An enthralling tale from an extraordinarily talented writer. It drew me into the volatile, dangerous world inhabited by the real Saint Hild fourteen centuries ago. The historical setting feels so real that it seemed that I was walking across the living landscape of seventh-century Britain. The characters are utterly believable in their time and place. Historical accuracy alone would make this novel a remarkable achievement, but the author has given us a thrilling story, too. Brilliant stuff!" — Tim Clarkson, author of The Picts (2010), Columba (2012) etc.
A book that deserves a place alongside T.H. White, to say nothing of Ellis Peters. Elegantly written—and with room for a sequel. — Kirkus
"Griffith goes boldly into the territory, lingering over landscape, indulging the senses...in a sweeping panorama of peasants working, women weaving, children at play, and soldiers in battle." — Publishers Weekly
Buy it from an IndieBound store, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Or see this list of independent bookstores recommended by readers in the US and elsewhere.
And now available for Kindle pre-order!
Most still to TBD, but so far:
New York, NY 5/29 - 5/31 for Book Expo America, including a public reading at McNally Jackson Books, 5/30, 7 p.m.
New York, NY 6/3 for the Lambda Literary Awards
Sacramento, CA 7/3 - 7/8 as co-Guest of Honour at Westercon66
Portland, OR 10/7 for the PNBA Fall Show Author Breakfast
Seattle, WA 2/26 - 3/1 for Lambda Literary author reading at AWP
Hild was real. She was born fourteen hundred years ago in Anglo-Saxon England. Everything we know about her comes from the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, the foundational text of English history. Of that work, a scant five pages refer to Hild. You can read those here, translated by Professor Roy M. Liuzza (Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Vol. 1, Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2006; hosted and linked to with permission of the translator).
The finished book will include a map, glossary, family tree, and an Author's Note which includes a pronunciation guide. The galleys don't have all that yet, so you might find the following useful:
map (the final map, by Jeffrey L. Ward, will be much nicer)
Recent interviews about Hild
A conversation about Hild with my editor, Sean McDonald, at FSG's Work in Progress
A conversation with Valerie Easton, for Seattle's Crosscut
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About a thousand people read yesterday's post about showrooming: turning book shops into book spaces funded through the marketing budgets of various organisations (publishers, big independent writers, giant online retailers).
I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. Yesterday, over at Publishing Perspectives, Jo Henry, the MD of Book Marketing Limited, ventured the opinion that Amazon may end up buying Waterstones, a UK book chain, "so that it would have its own showroom on the high street."
And today in Publishers Weekly, Roxanne Coady, of RJJulia Booksellers, Madison, CT, has a modest proposal for independents to charge Amazon for showrooming.
Finally, a smart friend of mine points out that the book space I imagined yesterday already exists: it's the New York Public Library. So my additional suggestion is for publishers and giant online retailers* (Amazon, B&N, Apple, and Google) to fund libraries directly.
Just a thought.
* Giant Online Retailers: GOR.
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