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Costa Book Award-winner Claire Fuller talks to Gill Hornby at Hungerford event

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Claire Fuller will be in conversation with Gill Hornby about her Costa prize-winning novel, at Croft Hall, Hungerford, on February 8.

Claire’s 2020 novel Unsettled Ground - set against a familiar local landscape - was released to critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and this week won the 2021 Novel category at the Costa Book awards.

Claire told N2: “I’m absolutely delighted that Unsettled Ground has won the Costa Novel Award 2021.

Claire Fuller cover
Claire Fuller cover

“It’s amazing that this novel - set not too far from Newbury - is now included in the list of such wonderful previous winners.

“I’m still pinching myself!”

Hungerford Bookshop and N2 arts pages have been long-time championing Fuller’s writing. Back in 2017 the bookshop held an event for her novel Swimming Lessons. A couple of years later Paperboat - an occasional creative writing project that the bookshop’s co-owner Emma Milne-White is involved in - invited her to host a workshop on flash fiction. Bitter Orange was a bookshop favourite and they selected it as part of their Summer Reads celebration.

Claire Fuller
Claire Fuller

Emma has been lauding Unsettled Ground since publication. “Claire used the landscape here as inspiration for her book - keen observers will recognise some familiar places,” she said.

A portrait of rural poverty in the 21st century, Unsettled Ground forces readers to see beyond the unsavoury, the unconventional, the ‘other’ and to recognise the thing that unites us all: the beating heart beneath.

“This is a story of resilience and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalised but remarkable people take centre stage.

Claire Fuller's landscape
Claire Fuller's landscape

“We held an online event during lockdown for the hardback, but we feel an in-person event is a great chance to introduce the paperback to a wider audience and celebrate its win at the Costa Book Awards.”

Claire will be talking to Kintbury writer Gill Hornby (author of the bestselling Miss Austen - watch out for her follow-up due out in June) at the event organised by the independent Hungerford Bookshop.

“What a fantastic start to our 2022 events programme,’ said Emma. “I think its always extra special when two writers are in conversation with each other.”

“The bookshop was so happy when Unsettled Ground won. Really looking forward to our event of Claire talking to Gill Hornby about the book and her writing.

“Tickets are already selling well.”

To book, visit https://hungerfordbookshop.co.uk

Read N2's October feature on Claire Fuller online at https://bit.ly/34nSOZn

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