BookBrowse Reviews The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

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The Tenderness of Wolves

A Novel

by Stef Penney

The Tenderness of Wolves
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2007, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 384 pages

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An exhilarating literary mystery and first novel set in northern Canada in 1867. Winner of the 2006 Costa Book of the Year Award

First time novelist Stef Penney shook the British literary world last year when she won the Costa Award (formerly Whitbread Award) with The Tenderness of Wolves, not least because she has never been to Canada and carried out all her research in the British Library. Although at first glance it might seem surprising that an author could write with such authority about a place she's never been to, it should be noted that no one alive at this time has been to 19th century Canada either! So, whether she carried out her research by leafing through pages in the British Library or wandering through the trees of Northern Ontario is, arguably, a moot point.

Having said that, often when an author writes about a place purely on the basis of research there ...

Stef Penney was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She turned to film-making after a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Bristol University and a variety of jobs in the UK and abroad. She made three short films before studying Film and TV in Bournemouth, and on graduation was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme.

The closest she has been to a frozen wilderness was a desolate vacation in the Highlands as a child, when she recalls miserably trudging through mud. Shortly after leaving university she started suffering from agoraphobia*. The first panic attack occurred when she was squashed into the back of a car during a journey. From then on, any form of travel triggered an attack. Her greatest fear was of the panic itself, "It...

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