Nicola Barker

I Am Sovereign
  • I Am Sovereign

  • Nicola Barker

    Charles, a forty-year-old boutique teddy bear maker and wearer of ironic t-shirts, is trying – and failing – to sell his small, characterless house in Llandudno. Avigail, yes Avigail, his estate agent, is trying – mostly in vain – to rein in Charles’s most unhelpful eccentricities, including his repeated recounting to potential buyers of an unsuccessful burglary that took place twelve years ago.

    When Wang Shu and her daughter view the house, a series of seemingly innocuous events distorts the reality of the characters’ lives, causing Avigail to revaluate her beliefs – and all of the characters to question their very existence.

    As religious epiphanies bump up against declarations of love, examinations of subjectivity hurtle into meditations on the history of culture, our entire understanding of the book – and of the boundaries between fiction and real life – is radically upended.

    A tour de force in miniature form that twists the novel into new shapes as the characters sabotage the fictional world they inhabit, I Am Sovereign sees Nicola Barker at her most joyful, provocative and riotous.

Nicola Barker was born in Ely in 1966 and spent part of her childhood in South Africa. She is the author of twelve novels – including Wide Open, Darkmans, The Yips and In the Approaches – and two short story collections. She has been twice longlisted and once shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, has won the IMPAC, the John Llewellyn Rhys and the Hawthornden Prizes, and was named one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Writers in 2003. Her latest novel, H(A)PPY, won the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018.