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It’s 1928 and the world’s most famous novelist, Thomas Hardy, is dying in the upstairs room of Max Gate, the house he built in his beloved Dorset. Downstairs, his high-powered literary friends are becoming locked in a bitter fight with local supporters. Who owns Hardy’s remains? Who knew the great man best? What are the secrets of Max Gate? Nellie Titterington, a maid at the house, narrates this earthy and emotionally-charged novel about a world of ambition, duty, belonging and love.
Damien Wilkins is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, the author of seven novels, including the New Zealand Book Award-winning The Miserables, and The Fainter, which was shortlisted for both the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He won a Whiting Writers Award and the 2008 New Zealand Post Mansfield Prize. He lives in Wellington, where he is the Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.