Lindsay Clarke

Add to shortlist


Working with: Eli Keren


Lindsay Clarke was born in Halifax and educated at King's College, Cambridge. He has worked in further education in Norfolk, and with an American college of experiential learning, as well as holding a post as Writer-in-Residence and long-term Associate of the Writing Programme at the University of Wales, Cardiff. He and his wife now live in Somerset. His second novel THE CHYMICAL WEDDING, won the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Fiction. He has extensive knowledge of mythology and runs workshops in the UK and abroad.

Latest publication:


As war-reporter Martin Crowther arrives in Umbria, still raw from a recent assignment in Africa, and from a failing love affair back home, a storm hits and the sky opens. Things are powerfully on the move inside him too as he comes to the small village of Fontanalba on a mission to track down two friends from a lifetime ago.

Adam and Marina are the estranged children of his mentor, Hal Brigshaw, who is nearing the end of a turbulent life and wants to summon them home. But there are good reasons for their self-imposed exile, and not all of them are understood, and not all are in the past. An air of secrecy also surrounds preparations for an event at Fontanalba in which Adam and Marina have an extraordinary role to play. As Martin waits, trapped between duty and desire, he is both intrigued and dismayed by his dealings with a close-knit community, who seem bent on protecting their own - and on shaking the ground of Martin's life.

THE WATER THEATRE interweaves two narratives, and travels from the raw Pennine moors to equatorial Africa and the hill-country of Umbria as it follows a powerful story of loyalty and loss, of betrayal and reconciliation.

“A stunning, compelling tale that tackles the biggest theme of all: the existence of evil and how ordinary, fallible mortals come to terms with Man’s astonishing capacity for brutality and venality...THE WATER THEATRE [Lindsay Clarke] as one of our most talented, ambitious, and ground-breaking novelists.  There is nothing small about this book it is huge in scope, in energy, in heart....THE WATER THEATRE will linger long beyond the turning of the last page.  It is difficult to remember a recent book that is at once so beautiful and yet so thought-provoking.”


"There are poetic evocations of the elemental Yorkshire moors and the mysterious springs of Clitumnus. Clarke has a gift for believably melding the visible world and human life with larger spiritual and metaphysical forces ... Powerful and convincing."
Financial Times

"This is deeply impressive, with rich imagery, a complex and absorbing plot and a style reminiscent of John Fowles' The Magus.  Through African politics, Italian indulgence, strange mysteries, art and deception, the big canvas unfolds in an imaginative, highly satisfying read."
Sarah Broadhurst, (Book of the Month)


Publication DetailsNotes


Vigorous new life is breathed into the myth’s of Homer’s Iliad in this dramatic retelling of the wars fought for the Bronze Age City of Troy. Paris and Helen, Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra, Achilles, Odysseus and Hector are skilfully rejuvenated in this startlingly contemporary drama of the passions. THE WAR AT TROY speaks to a world still racked by violent conflict in ways which address important aspects of our own experience while at the same time providing imaginative access to the rich store of mythology which is our heritage from the ancient world.



This is the second part of a masterful retelling of the stories surrounding the Trojan War. "Return from Troy" begins after the sacking of Troy, covering Odysseus’s trials and Agamemnon’s fate. "The Heroes Return" is the second volume in this masterful retelling of the myths surrounding the Trojan War. In two parts the final novel begins by covering the return of Agamemnon to Mycenae, his murder by his wife Clytaemnestra in revenge for sacrificing their daughter and the consequences of that killing. The second part focuses on the adventures of Odysseus, on his long struggle to return home to Ithaca, and his wife Penelope.



Lindsay Clarke delivers a masterly retelling of the legend of Parzival – the knight who is given the task of finding the Holy Grail. This version of Wolfram von Eschenbach`s medieval poem is lively, accessible and inspirational, staying faithful to the spirit of the original while highlighting the contemporary relevance of its themes.



It is 1991, and Ronan is driving into Cornwall desperate to reclaim his lost lover. His search brings him to Roseleye, the house by the sea, where Alice has lived for 50 years. By the time the autumnal equinox arrives, he will see that more than one kind of death is waiting for him on the coast.



This novel of intellectual obsession and passion concerns two groups of people who are united in their investigation into the "great experiment of nature" in a Norfolk village, but divided by a century of time. Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Fiction 1989. According to John Fowles, Lindsay Clarke’s novel "excited me more than any other English fiction for some time."




Austin and his wife, Kay, travel to a school deep in the rainforest of a newly independent West African state in order to teach, but meet disillusionment and loss.


Publication DetailsNotes


This collection of Celtic myths and legends brings to life the key stories that have formed our understanding of the Celts. They tell of mighty battles fought by the warrior kings, of the rise and fall of their kingdoms, and the mystery and magic woven into the lives of their people.


Publication DetailsNotes