Orchard on Fire by Shena Mackay
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Orchard on Fire
By Shena Mackay

The Orchard on Fire

By (author) See other recent books by Shena Mackay
Format: Paperback

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Orchard on Fire by Shena Mackay

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Booker Prize for Fiction 1996.

Book Description

When Percy and Betty Harlency abandon their seedy Streatham pub, for the Copper Kettle Tearoom in Kent, life for their daughter April changes dramatically. She is befriended by the wonderfully dangerous Ruby, whose red hair and brutal home life emphasise her love of fire, and by the immaculately dressed Mr Greenridge who likes to follow her around the village. Mingling the innocent with the sinister and laced with the tragic and the bizarre, this is a rare evocation of a 1950s childhood.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749394066
ISBN-10: 0749394064
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 127mm x 15mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 23-Jun-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Shena Mackay

Dunedin by Shena Mackay Dunedin, Paperback (April 2016)

One of Shena Mackay's most acclaimed novels. A story of long consequences, betrayal, dark humour and redemption.

Orchard on Fire by Shena Mackay Orchard on Fire, Paperback (April 2016)

Many regard this as Mackay's masterpiece. A touching, funny novel about childhood in the 1950s: friendship, village life and lost innocence.

Dancing on the Outskirts by Shena Mackay Dancing on the Outskirts, Hardback (November 2015)

A wonderful collection of short stories by the doyenne of the form, a writer known for 'the Mackay vision, suburban - as kitsch, as unexceptional, and yet as rich in history and wonder as a plain Victorian terrace house, its threshold radiant with tiling and stained-glass birds of paradise encased in leaded lights'- Guardian.

Atmospheric Railway by Shena Mackay Atmospheric Railway, Paperback (November 2010)

Shena Mackay is one of the very best short-story writers in the world. The Atmospheric Railway contains not only thirteen brilliant new stories, but a selection of twenty-three more from her previous collection, making it a delight for her existing admirers and the perfect introduction to her work for newcomers.

» View all books by Shena Mackay


UK Kirkus Review » April Harling's parents own The Copper Kettle tearooms in Stonebridge. Her best friend Ruby's home is the pub, The Rising Sun. April's background is kindly and ordinary, Ruby's harsh and dramatic. Sheena Mackay's evocative novel, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1996, tells of the deeply felt friendship that develops between two schoolgirls, contrasting the love that surrounds April and the callous, abusive behaviour of Ruby's parents. A funny, touching, sometimes heartrending account of the joys and panics of childhood in the 1950s. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh. She is the author of four previous collections of stories - Babies in Rhinestones, Dreams of Dead Women's Handbags, The Laughing Academy and The World's Smallest Unicorn. Her novels include Dunedin, The Orchard on Fire (which was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize), The Artist's Widow and Heligoland (which was shortlisted for the 2003 Orange Prize).

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