Coming to Canada September 2019, the US January 2020
Sometimes I forget that MyMum is dead. But that is probably better than remembering.
When Frankie’s mother dies, the six-year-old comes up with a plan: go to France, find a police station, and ask the officers to ring his father—and so begins Giller-nominated Pauline Holdstock’s eighth novel. Narrated in turns by Frankie, who likes cheese, numbers, the sea when it’s pink and “smooth like counting,” and being alone when he feels bad, and a cast of characters that includes his Gran and his father, Here I Am! is a mesmerizing story about innocence lost and found.
Praise for Here I Am!
“Here I Am! is a great armchair read, delivered by a six-year-old narrator who is always on the move, an acute observer, frequently hilarious, and often very wise. Frankie both warmed and wrenched my heart, and it was a deep pleasure to follow him and the cast of supporting characters on his epic voyage from disaster to happiness and contentment—the very opposite of the story of the Titanic that frightens him so. Fans of Mark Haddon will particularly enjoy Here I Am! — though Pauline Holdstock’s character, is of course, no one but himself, and the dog in Here I Am! is very much alive. Pauline Holdstock has crafted a touching and utterly absorbing story that reminds us of what it is to be a child.”
—Kathy Page, author of Dear Evelyn
“At the heart of Pauline Holdstock’s spellbinding new novel is the wonderful Francis: a six year old stowaway with opinions about almost everything. I loved being in his company and indeed in the company of all the vivid ‘a noying’ characters who people this suspenseful, exuberant story. If only Here I Am! didn’t have to end.”
—Margot Livesey, author of Mercury
Praise for Pauline Holdstock
“[The Blackbirds’s Song] examines questions of faith, meaning and power; [Holdstock’s] investigation of these issues is profound and beautifully paced, so that despite the intensity of the subject, the momentum of the narrative never falters, the evocation of place and time having an almost cinematic immediacy.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“Powerful, almost elemental storytelling, an achievement not only of craft but of raw emotion. [The Hunter and the Wild Girl] pulses with vitality, building to a stunning, shattering conclusion.”
“Holdstock’s ability to paint strange and compelling characters and march them through wondrous and terrifying events leaves one not too concerned about tracing themes. As her title suggests, mysterious life spills beyond the boundaries of inquiry.”
—Globe and Mail
“A thorough examination of what, exactly, it means to be a person—a question more daunting than any human antagonist, and one Holdstock raises gradually, with great skill and a light touch . . . [A] rich, immersive experience with little left to the imagination. That’s a good thing: hers is the kind of prose you get lost in.”
“Pauline Holdstock’s language is so powerful, her writing so wrought with emotion and beauty, that you become fully lost in her world.”