"Welcome to the House of Journalists. Who are you and what is your story?" Thus begins Tim Finch's haunting Orwellian novel set in a fashionable London terrace. The House of Journalists is renowned as a place of refuge for exiled writers who have fallen foul of oppressive regimes. Julian Snowman, its overzealous founder, struggles to preserve this sanctuary in a hostile political climate as he also strives to stabilize himself. Among the fellows are Mr. Stan, the affable former newspaperman whose hands were smashed with hammers; Mustapha, who is in denial about having been tortured; Agnes, a spirited young photojournalist whose grandfather's Pentax was crushed by heavy boots; and Sonny, who endured a harrowing journey to safety.
While the exiled fellows share their tales of tragedy and heroism and seek to capture a lost sense of home, domestic writers flock to the house, drawn by the power of stories far beyond experience. Only one man manages to guard his past, the mysterious new fellow, AA, whose secrecy ratchets up Julian's paranoia about enemies out to undermine his creation. Julian suspects AA of conspiring with a visiting writer, the iconoclastic Ted Crumb. In fact, AA is plotting something else entirely.
A world as beguiling as it is disturbing, The House of Journalists is a novel about displacement, heartbreak, and humor that announces the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.
"Starred Review. [Finch] demonstrates an instinctive grasp of the malleability of fiction. Satiric, tough and very funny." - Kirkus
"Some readers might appreciate a looming twist, but others will think it is not enough to rescue this novel from its confusion of intent." - Publishers Weekly
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Tim Finch works for a London think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research. He was a BBC political journalist and is a former director of communications for the Refugee Council.
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