Author(s): Melissa Harrison
Eight-year-old TC skips school to explore the city's overgrown, forgotten corners. Sophia, seventy-eight, watches with concern as he slips past her window, through the little park she loves. She's writing to her granddaughter, Daisy, whose privileged upbringing means she exists in a different world from TC - though the two children live less than a mile apart. Jozef spends his days doing house clearances, his nights working in a takeaway. He can't forget the farm he left behind in Poland, its woods and fields still a part of him, although he is a thousand miles away. When he meets TC he finds a kindred spirit: both lonely, both looking for something, both lost.
An intimate and captivating portrait of four people struggling with the concrete confines of city life by first-time novelist Melissa Harrison
A gently-evoked urban tragedy - and the most powerful and original debut novel I've read for years A N Wilson, Readers Digest Clay moves to rhythms that we associate less with fiction than with the close-descriptive style of nature writers such as Robert Macfarlane ... At the heart of Clay is a hymn to attentiveness, both to the natural world and to those we share it with Financial Times Instantly beautiful in its calm and wise tone Robert Macfarlane Heartfelt, elegaic ... Lovingly observed Sunday Times The wonderful power of her looking builds a quiet, cumulative poetry. An impressive debut Mark Cocker, author of Crow Country Fierce and tender ... Country come to town with lyrical, visceral power ... She evokes with rhapsodic delight the animal and plant life that still flourishes amid the concrete and Tarmac Boyd Tonkin, Independent Harrison gives lovely expression to her vision of an ecosystem thrumming away beneath the grime of city life Guardian
Melissa Harrison is a freelance writer and photographer whose clients include the Guardian. She was the winner of the John Muir Trust's 'Wild Writing' Award in 2010, and Clay is her debut novel. She lives in South London and writes about her local environment on her website, Tales of the City. http://www.talesofthecity.co.uk/. She is also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/M_Z_Harrison