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Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Betty Trask Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Prize, the Author's Club First Novel Award and a Scottish Council Book Award.

About the Author

Andrew Cowan was born in Corby and is the author of two further novels, COMMON GROUND and CRUSTACEANS (Sceptre, 2000). He is a graduate of the University of East Anglia Creative Writing course, and lives in Norwich with the writer Lynne Bryan and their daughter.


This award-winning story of an English boy's coming-of-age in a bleak English town is "moving and memorable," said PW. Optioned for film by Mike Leigh's Image Productions. (Sept.)

'Cowan's writing is reminiscent of Roddy Doyle's in his ability to recreate the intense emotions of youth.' -- The Good Book Guide 20020901 'A coming-of-age story as strange and surprising, in its way, as THE CATCHER IN THE RYE' -- New York Times 'A first novel of extraordinary poise and accomplishment, treating a boy's coming of age amid the squalid realities of the new British underclass with a delicacy and lyricism which is both gripping and moving' -- Michael Dibdin 'The detail is immaculately recorded; the effect is heartbreaking' -- Louisa Young, Sunday Times '[A] wholly satisfying book, quietly beautiful and inescapably ominous' -- David Buckley, Observer 'Beautifully evoked ! Cowan writes with a deceptive simplicity' -- Amanda Craig, The Times 'A wonderful first novel' -- Christopher Hart, Daily Telegraph

In Cowan's dark novel, coming of age in northern England means relinquishing dreams and accepting a torpid reality of physical decay and social malaise. Pig opens with Danny's Gran's death and follows the teenager through a summer of love and desolation. When his one-legged Grandad is taken to a nursing home, Danny moves into his cottage on the site of an abandoned steel mill, now the town dump, and cares for their aging pig in the backyard sty. Between cooking slops for the pig and visiting Grandad in the home, Danny plays house with Surinder, his Indian girlfriend. When not in bed, the two explore the fetid countryside and dream of their own pig farm. Cowan deftly weaves together complex themes and adolescent innocence to produce a novel of surprising impact. Recommended for larger collections.‘Paul E. Hutchison, Bellefonte, Pa.

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