The CutAnthony Cartwright
The Cut is a Brexit novel. The story offers a fictional response to a complex issue. It is also a plot-driven page-turner by one of the most exciting novelists in the country.
Cairo Jukes, a boxer from Dudley, supports himself on zero-hour contracts. He has grown up among the canals – or the cuts – that web the Black Country like the open veins of an old industrial order. Then he meets Grace, a successful documentary film maker from London.
The Cut will not put you at ease. It describes a relationship built on misunderstandings, intolerance and guilt – one where each side desires something that the other cannot give.
‘Writing The Cut made me understand that we live in a country where we see prejudice in others but not in ourselves. This is a lesson that I, and my two characters Cairo and Grace, have tried to learn, with varying levels of success. It is a hard lesson for us all.’ Anthony Cartwright
Why Peirene chose to commission this book:
‘The result of the EU referendum shocked me. I realized that I had been living in one part of a divided country. What fears – and what hopes – drove my fellow citizens to vote for Brexit? I commissioned Anthony Cartwright to build a fictional bridge between the Britains that opposed each other on referendum day.’ Meike Ziervogel
Written by Anthony Cartwright.
176pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published June 2017
Born in Dudley in 1973, Anthony Cartwright is the author of four previous novels, published by Serpent’s Tail, most recently Iron Towns (2016), which was praised in both The Guardian (‘Cartwright achieves something bold in Iron Towns: a fictional enactment of communal identity and shared culture…expert, restrained and skilful.’) and The Daily Mail (A gritty, moving elegy for an abandoned, once-thriving section of society’). His first three novels were all shortlisted for various literary awards, and he has also published a collaborative novel with Gianluca Favetto, Il giorno perduto (The Lost Day), released in Italy in 2015.
Praise for Anthony Cartwright
‘A diamond-sharp novella…These are vividly imagined lives, rendered with the concise strokes of an experienced portraitist.’ Jude Cook, The Guardian
‘A sensitive response to the national aura of suspicion unleashed by Brexit.’ Jon Day, Financial Times
‘A writer with a wonderful ear … and an unblinking sense of Britain as it is today. Anthony Cartwright’s patient, attentive storytelling shines a glowing light on areas of our common experience that the English novel usually consigns to darkness.’ Jonathan Coe
‘A compelling protest against simple answers that lingers in the mind long after the final page.’ Wyl Menmuir
‘Cartwright returns to his familiar turf of the Black Country with gentleness and ruthless sincerity. A deeply poignant human story…and a relentlessly gripping tale.’ Mika Provata-Carlone, Bookanista
‘A bittersweet elegy to Britain’s battered working classes.’ Metro
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Peirene Now! is our new series where we commission writers to respond with fiction to current political topics.