Simon & Schuster UK
The dark side of paradise is exposed when a terrified couple reveals their daunting experience on a remote island to their rescuers—only to realise they’re still in the grips of the island’s secrets—in this intense and startling debut in the tradition of Into the Jungle and The Ruins.
When a Navy vessel comes across a yacht in distress in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, Captain Danial Tengku orders his ship to rush to its aid. On board the yacht is a British couple: a horribly injured man, Jake, and his traumatised wife, Virginie, who breathlessly confesses, “It’s all my fault. I killed them.”
Trembling with fear, she reveals their shocking story to Tengku. Months earlier, the couple had spent all their savings on a yacht, full of excitement for exploring the high seas and exotic lands together. They start at the busy harbours of Malaysia and, through word of mouth, Jake and Virginie learn about a tiny, isolated island full of unspoiled beaches. When they arrive, they discover they are not the only visitors and quickly become entangled with a motley crew of expat sailors. Soon, Jake and Virginie’s adventurous dream turns into a terrifying nightmare.
Now, it’s up to Tengku to determine just how much truth there is in Virginie’s alarming tale. But when his crew make a shocking discovery, he realises that if he doesn’t act soon, they could all fall under the dark spell of the island.
‘A mirage of a novel, seductive and slippery. Emma Bamford’s Deep Water is that most exciting, most evolved species of psychological thriller, one in which the darkest dangers lurk not in the next room, not in a secret kiss, not even in the ocean depths, but in a suspicious mind and a guilty heart. Can’t remember the last time a novel surprised you? Deep Water is the next time a novel surprises you.’
New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
‘In the first half a second of seeing him in the flesh for the first time, two words flashed into my mind so clearly it was as if someone had shouted them. Small! Bald! I almost flinched. Next came Ugly! No doubt he was summing me up as Sweaty! Dirty! Wearing a freakishly large amount of clothes!’
As a journalist on a national newspaper, Emma is swept along with the London rat race. But the thrill of a breaking news story is no longer enough, and while she’s still struggling to get a fourth date, her friends are settling down in the country to marriage and family.
Emma decides to grasp her life by the roots and reclaim her freedom… by running away to sea and joining a complete stranger (and his cat) on a yacht in Borneo.
Emma’s journey leads her to find adventure and happiness in the most unlikely places, and as she learns to let go and leave things to chance, her true story shows that it is possible to break free and fine happiness – and love – on your own terms.
‘Casting Off is an autobiography as exciting as a novel; I couldn't put it down.
Emma Bamford is a great writer who knows how to hook her reader’
‘An inspiring and entertaining read about breaking free from the rat race
and having the courage to chase your dreams’
‘Wryly funny, fast-paced, with a good plot and tons of adventure, this entertaining debut
would make a great holiday read... part memoir, part travelogue, part romance’
‘An engaging tale...there is much fun to be had’
‘The feel-good, moving account of a young woman’s love of the sea’
Untie the Lines
Former stressed-out city girl and journalist Emma is living the dream. She’s in Malaysia, living on a yacht with handsome traveller Guy, and together they have plans to explore the world’s most remote and exotic places. Adventures in Asia, America and the Caribbean beckon. Life, free from the rat race and nine-to-five grind, couldn’t be more perfect. Or could it?
Such dreams can’t last forever. Eventually forced to return to London, to her old, crippling, fast-paced world, Emma finds herself struggling with anxiety and panic attacks and losing the battle between head and heart. Running, or sailing, away is just not an option any more.
Untie the Lines, the sequel to Casting Off, is a beautifully written, often funny story for those who dream of escape, adventure and an unshackled life. But it is also a deeply moving tale about recognising the need to be true to yourself and to live a balanced life – for without balance, we fall.
‘Untie the Lines really describes a world I’ll never see but can feel I know a bit about now. I can even smell the places and feel the humidity. Well written and insightful. I really loved it’
‘An emotionally honest account of the actual practicalities of living “the dream”…
[and] the often vast chasm between “exploring” and “escaping”’
'Never been to America in my life, not left England, apart from that one trip to Cardiff back in ’87. Haven’t even got a passport. They must have mixed me up with someone else, sent me their parking tickets or whatever it is. I look at the envelope again. No clues there. I start to read the letter. ‘Dear Mr Nettleship,’ it says. I’m thinking it’s a trick – someone’s printed this off the internet and sent it to me as a practical joke – but no, it’s real. From the US Customs and Border Protection, the newly formed Construction Department. Looking for wallers, wanting them to work on a big project. Says they’ll pay travel and a good wage, too…'
The Wall is a short story within the anthology Rebel Alliance. A shaggy dog tale of the type shared in pubs up and down the land, it is narrated by a dry stone waller who receives an invitation from the American government to work on a new border wall. He travels to Texas, but the project doesn’t quite go as planned.
Rebel Alliance is an anthology intended to start a conversation. It is varied in style, voice and subject matter; it questions and satirises in equal measure. Above all, it is a good read and that is surely the best way to make any challenge to the doublespeak we must daily contend with.
One of the themes of this collection is yearning – for a better life, for freedom, for love and friendship, for a sense of belonging, for truth. Each of our writers explores those grey areas of human experience not covered by politicians’ generalisations, seeking to find their truth.
Other contributors include Wersha Bharadwa, Naomi Hamill, Petra McQueen, Tony McKenna and Penny Simpson.
‘A good example of how voice can shape a story… The homely narrative voice does just enough to push the tale to one side of reality (it’s a voice that doesn’t belong in the situation it’s describing), without losing sight of the seriousness beneath’
‘Nations, like families, must speak to truth to each other… This anthology offers new insights on which we can draw as we painfully work out our future on the edges of Europe’
University of East Anglia
MA Prose Fiction Anthology
Egg Box Publishing
For 50 years UEA’s MA and MFA in Prose Fiction has brought together the best and brightest emerging writers from around the globe. The programme has produced such recent successes as Emma Healey, John Boyne, Naomi Alderman, Elizabeth Macneal, Tash Aw, Anappara Deepa and JY Neon Yang.
The works found in this anthology did not bloom in isolation. Writing is a craft, a practice - it does not sneak up in the night and come to life as a perfect manuscript by morning. Anyone who believes that all writing emerges in solitude would do well to witness the thrill of ten authors clustered together as they pick apart a newborn story and pass its paragraphs hand to hand. UEA offers the joy of letting stories collide. The cohort is made up of people who live and breathe language, and this anthology offers you a glimpse into the work that is the culmination of thirty-three writers living and working together in constructive collaboration.
With a foreword by Rachel Cusk and an introduction by Naomi Wood and Philip Langeskov, Bloom offers an iridescent array of diverse and intriguing insights into the latest in literature. You can safely say that you read it here first.
Featuring work by
Emma Bamford, Tanya Banerjee, Philip Brennan, Christabelle Dilks,
John Dimitroff, Drew Evans, Alice Franklin, Elaine Frost, Yan Ge, Cara George, Linden Hibbert, Delwar Hussain, Mairéad Kiernan, Peggy Lee, Josephine Lister, Margaret Meyer, Lauren Mooney, Hannah Murphy, Zainab Omaki, Jyoti Patel, Abhishek Prasad, Lucien Ross, Rex Rowley, Lily Shahmoon, Eleanor Sheehan, Ellison Skinner, Rebecca Sollom, Stephanie Y. Tam, Omer Tennenhaus,
Rajasree Variyar, J.H.L Wai, Daniel Wiles, Brock Zawila