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J

J

Set in the future, a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited, J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying.

Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn’t know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a world starting with a J. It wasn’t then, and isn’t now, the time or place to be asking questions.

Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn’t ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren’t sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they’ve been pushed into each other’s arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?

Hanging over the lives of all the characters in this novel is a momentous catastrophe – a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.

About the Author

Howard Jacobson

An award-winning writer and broadcaster, Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester in 1942, brought up in Prestwich and was educated at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, and Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied under F R Leavis.

He lectured for three years at the University of Sydney before returning to teach at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

His books include The Mighty Walzer (1999), winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; Kalooki Nights (2006), longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and The Finkler Question (2010), winner of the Man Booker Prize. His most recent, J, is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014.

Howard Jacobson lives in London.