Gráinneby Keith Roberts
British Science Fiction Association Award 1988.
Gráinne quite simply, is unique; a moving and magical tour de force that ranks with Keith Roberts's best. Ostensibly, the novel charts the career of one Alistair Bevan, writer and adman, from his beginnings in a post-war Midland town. Here though any parallels with our world cease.
Through Bevan's vivid memories we meet Gráinne; blue stocking, seductress, darling of the media. Painfully human yet mysterious as her great namesake, the girl-goddess doomed by her own proud nature who plunged all Ireland into war and shadow. But there's very much more.
Gráinne proposes new and startling answers for the origins of the Celts themselves, answers that irrevocably link the fate of East and West; though the wide-ranging narrative wears its erudition lightly. We glimpse Oxford in the sixties, Ireland and Wessex, a London that has yet to be; through and between them, like the spirallings of Celtic thought itself, runs a strange graffito.
How does it relate to the tenets of the Buddha, the heady eroticism of Hindu art? One by one the answers are made; by Gráinne, human and divine, a proto-myth for the coming millennium.
Details updated August 17, 2022