Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Becoming Strangers

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Becoming Strangers

by Louise Dean

Becoming Strangers by Louise Dean X
Becoming Strangers by Louise Dean
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 320 pages

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Louise Dean was born in 1970 and brought up in Kent.  She received a BA Hons in History from Downing College, Cambridge in 1991.  After spending time in Hong Kong and New York, she is now married with three children and splits her time between France and England.

Becoming Strangers is her first novel.  It was long-listed for the 2004 Man Booker Prize, and was the only title to be voted onto the long-list unanimously by all judges. It was also a finalist for The Guardian Best First Novel Award and won the Betty Trask prize (awarded by the British Society of Authors to a writer under the age of 35 for a first novel, who is also a Commonwealth citizen).

Her second novel, This Human Season was published in the UK in 2005 and will be released in the USA next month (Feb 2007).  Set in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1979, at the height of the unrest it has received good to excellent reviews in UK newspapers, and is receiving strong pre-publication reviews in the USA.

BookBrowse Exclusive Interview
I got in touch with Louise a few days ago to ask her some question about herself and Becoming Strangers. The question that I was most interested to understand was what led a woman in her early 30s to center her first book around a couple in their 80s? She replied quite simply that Becoming Strangers is "a love story, written for my deceased grandparents, a way of keeping them alive."
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This article was originally published in April 2006, and has been updated for the January 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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