Adam Foulds' The Quickening Maze is an intensely lyrical novel which depicts the historically accurate story of the incarceration of John Clare in an asylum in Epping Forest, following a lifetime's struggle with alcohol, critical neglect and depression. A young Alfred Tennyson, meanwhile, moves nearby and becomes entangled in the life of the asylum. Roma Tearne's The Swimmer is a captivating novel about love, loss and what home really means. It tells the story of forty-three year old Ria, who is used to being alone and who has struggled to find love, until she discovers the swimmer, Ben, an illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka, with whom she enters an unconventional romance. Tickets cost £2 and can be obtained by telephoning or visiting the Customer Service Department, Second Floor, Blackwell Bookshop, Oxford. Tel: 01865 333623. (oxygen_142)
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