Lee Langley

Distant Music
  • Distant Music

  • A richly imaginative novel of love, loss, time and the rise and fall of a great maritime empire, that sends two thwarted lovers spiralling through the chaos of history.

    The story begins in 1429 on Madeira, when a peasant girl meets a boy- a Jewish outsider- from a Portuguese sailing ship. Esperança and Emmanuel know they must part when the ship sails. From that first meeting and parting, others follow...

    Emmanuel is in turn sailor, mapmaker, bookseller, jazz musician; Esperança an illiterate peasant, a rich girl in Faro and a clever, bookish recluse who confronts a murderer in nineteenth-century Lisbon. In twentieth-century London, Esperança is faced with a double incarnation, one of the true Emmanuel and the other a shadow. Over the centuries the couple face peril and tenderness. Each life is short. What survives is love.

Lee Langley is the author of nine highly praised novels including Changes of Address (shortlisted for the Hawthornden Prize) and Persistent Rumours (winner of a Commonwealth Writers' prize). Her most recent book was A Conversation on the Quai Voltaire, a volume of short stories, poetry and journalism. Her adaptation 'The Tenth Man', based on a Graham Greene story, was made into an award-winning movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Derek Jacobi. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London.