A Natural

A Natural


Tom has always known exactly the person he is going to be. A successful footballer. A man others look up to. Now, though, the bright future he imagined for himself is threatened.

The Premier League academy of his boyhood has let him go. At nineteen, Tom finds himself playing for a tiny club in a town he has never heard of. But as he navigates his isolation and his desperate need for recognition, a sudden and thrilling encounter offers him the promise of an escape, and Tom is forced to question whether he can reconcile his supressed desires with his dreams of success.

Leah, the captain’s wife, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held, for her career, her marriage. Moving again, as her husband is transferred from club to club, she is lost, disillusioned with where life has taken her.

A Natural delves into the heart of a professional football club: the pressure, the loneliness, the threat of scandal, the fragility of the body and the struggle, on and off the pitch, with conforming to the person that everybody else expects you to be.


  • Supremely accomplished and moving… A masterful performance… This is a gripping, mature, important novel. It would be a travesty if it doesn’t win prizes.
    William Skidelsky, Observer

About the author

Ross Raisin

Ross Raisin is the author of three novels: A Natural, Waterline and God's Own Country, which was shortlisted for nine literary awards. Ross has won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award and was named on Granta's most recent Best of Young British Novelists list. In 2018 he was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Society of Literature.
Ross teaches at the University of Leeds, for the Guardian Masterclass programme and for the education charity First Story. He lives in York. Find more on Ross, his books and teaching here: www.rossraisin.com
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