Eating Air by Pauline Melville

By Pauline Melville

A dancer, a innovative, a banker and an Islamic terrorist are fatally associated during this cautionary story for our instances. Narrated through the irreverent, night-club pianist Baron S. and relocating among the seventies and the current day, among London, Italy, Holland and Surinam, consuming Air marshals a super solid of characters to inform an explosive tale of greed, ardour and unsafe beliefs. ‘A fiendishly smart novel ... Brilliantly humorous and sharp.’ Kate Saunders, instances ‘Shocking and unique ... one of many few novels approximately terrorism which may go beyond their time.’ New Statesman ‘The language [is] pregnant with wit ... a virtuoso performance.’ Stevie Davies, The self sustaining ‘Compelling.’ Lavinia Greenlaw, monetary instances ‘[Has] a wild power that calls for attention.’ Hermione Lee, Guardian.

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Extra info for Eating Air

Sample text

You filthy beggar, get out of here, don't touch me, if you lay a finger on me I'll cane you to death . . and he'd go back to the window with the broken panes, stark . naked. The old women and the nuns didn't dare cross the court with the orange trees anymore. We decided that the best thing was to board up the shutters of his cell. But he always managed to break them down. Until one night, as Don Clemente slept, I walled up his window with bricks and cement, the first window I walled up in the Casa.

It was witch­ craft, black magic, and that's why the peasants were being crushed under the weight of endless misfortunes. Over the bone­ dry plains, where the animals swollen with thirst were dying off, the head of the landowner's daughter, flapping huge sinewy ears that were like bat wings, would fly after the yellow bitch dog­ it was warty and scrawny like the girl's nursemaid-that guided the chonch6n to a place indicated by the rays of their accom­ plice, the moon, on the other side of the hills.

I'm the seventh old woman. I'll take it upon myself to watch over the Azcoitia about to be born. Iris's - 50 vomit, which I washed from the kitchen tiles, anointed me. I keep it wrapped in a floor rag, with my books and my manu­ scripts, under the bed, where all old women keep their things. THE FIRST TffiNG I had to do was win them over. If I didn't find a way to dazzle them, I'd be accepted by them in name only, even though I'd groveled for them. I let a few days go by while I laid my plans, letting them go on barely talking to me and watching me on the sly.

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