Set in rural England, award-winning writer Claire Fuller's new novel Unsettled Ground (Tin House Books, 2021) explores what happens to two middle-aged twins, Jeanie and Julius, when their mother Dot – with whom they have lived their whole lives – suddenly dies. It’s a story full of secrets in which nothing is quite as it seems, and despite its apparently idyllic setting the tale is full of dramatic turns, most of them rather dark.
Unsettled Ground has just been shortlisted for the 2021 Womens’ Prize of Fiction, and has been making quite a splash. In this engaging conversation, Claire tells Duncan McCargo why all her books are rather dark, why she is not romantic about rural life, why Unsettled Ground doesn't exactly have a happy ending, and why the novel contains a hidden social message.
Duncan McCargo is an eclectic, internationalist political scientist and literature buff: his day job is directing the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Learn more here, here, here, and here.