The Coward’s Tale by Vanessa Gebbie named Novel of the Year by Financial Times critc

LOCAL author Vanessa Gebbie’s debut novel ‘The Coward’s Tale’ has been named his Novel of the Year by critic A N Wilson, in The Financial Times.

Based in Ringmer, Vanessa has many links locally – her late father David Rees worked for many years in Trinity Trees, Eastbourne, as District Valuer. Her two sons attended Eastbourne College, where her eldest, Nick, became Head Boy. She is also a supporter of New Eastbourne Writers, and judged their open short story competition this autumn.

Vanessa is the author of two collections of stories and contributing editor of a creating writing text book. She has won numerous awards for her short fiction.

In his comments in The Financial Times, A N Wilson said: “The Coward’s Tale is an extraordinarily lyrical, moving, funny evocation of a Welsh mining town and its inhabitants as seen through the eyes of “the coward”, who witnessed the collapse of the Kindly Light pit. A poet’s novel, really.

“The disparate bits turn out not to be just beautifully written prose-poems and good jokes, but part of a cunningly wrought whole. A terrific achievement.”

The Coward’s Tale is published by Bloomsbury and priced at £16.99.