Named as one of '50 Writers You Should Read Now' by The Guardian. From the award-winning author of The Rift, Nina Allan, this early story-cycle explores the lives touched on by the enigmatic, elusive figure of Ruby Castle.
Ruby tells the story of Ruby Castle told in snapshots and fleeting glimpses and secret histories, in tales repeated and reinvented by those who fall under the horror film actress's spell: her childhood sweetheart, an antiquarian bookseller with a passion for magical artifacts, the mistress of the poet who was once Castle's lover, a young girl in a future Russia who dreams of the stars. Worlds collide, and the boundaries between the real and the fantastic begin to break down. Is Ruby Castle a living person or a collective fantasy? By the time the final page of Ruby is turned, the world that Castle created through her films has become dangerously indistinguishable from our own.
Nina Allan was born in Whitechapel, London, grew up in the Midlands and West Sussex, and studied Russian literature at the University of Exeter and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. She wrote her first short story at the age of six. Recurring obsessions include old clocks and rare insects, forgotten manuscripts and abandoned houses. Writers who have inspired and continue to inspire her include among many others Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, J. G Ballard, Roberto Bolano, M. John Harrison and of course Christopher Priest, her partner and first reader. They live and work in the historic seaside town of Hastings, East Sussex.
Nina's stories have appeared regularly in premier British ... (more)