Books

The Broken Mirror

Jonathan Coe (and others)

Can desire really transform reality?

From award-winning novelist Jonathan Coe and distinguished Italian artist Chiara Coccorese comes The Broken Mirror, a political parable for children, a contemporary fairy tale for adults, and a fable for all ages.

One day Claire, to escape her quarrelsome parents, takes refuge in the dump behind her house. There she finds a broken mirror, a nasty piece of sharp glass… yet she is strangely drawn to it. She soon discovers it has the power to transform even the most drab reality into a fairy-tale world: the grey sky is reflected blue, and Claire’s modest, suburban house is transformed into the most beautiful castle.

As Claire grows older, always accompanied by her magic mirror, she can see her face without her teenage acne, and her town before it fell victim to thieving property developers. But, in reality, libraries are being turned into luxury flats wherever she looks, and the boy Claire loves is instead her worst enemy.

Frustrated and angry with the mirror’s illusions, Claire is about to destroy it when the mysterious Peter steps in: he has also found a shard of broken mirror, and so begins their journey to piece together the larger puzzle…

Previously published in Italian, French, Greek and Dutch, The Broken Mirror comes to life in English for the first time, to be read with equal pleasure by children and adults.

Biography

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1961. He began writing at an early age. His first surviving story, a detective thriller called The Castle of Mystery, was written when he was eight. His first published novel was The Accidental Woman in 1987, but it was his fourth, What a Carve Up!, that established his reputation as one of England’s finest comic novelists, winning the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1985 and being translated into many languages. Seven bestselling novels and many other awards have followed, including the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for Like A Fiery Elephant, a biography of the experimental novelist, B. S. Johnson. Jonathan lives in London with his wife and two daughters.

Chiara Coccorese, born in Naples, Italy, in 1982, is an artist and photographer who explores the issues of existence, time and spirituality. Her works have been exhibited in numerous museums and art shows in Italy and abroad, among them: National Archaeological Museum; Museo della Permanente; Palazzo Ducale; Museo MADRE; Pristine Gallery; Galleria Dino Morra; FotoGrafia Festival; Galleria Paolo Erbetta; Art Raw gallery in New York; and many more.