Follow the glittering career of Nan King, oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End 'tom' in this saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance
“Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl – I knew it at once! – that I had ever seen.”
Nan is captivated by the music hall phenomenon that is Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury.
Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty’s dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they start an all-singing and dancing double act.
At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.
“A delightful novel which sets a new standard for lesbian historical fiction, and should entice new readers to the genre” Emma Donoghue
“This could be the most important debut of its kind since that of Jeanette Winterson” Daily Telegraph
“An unstoppable read, a sexy and picaresque romp through the lesbian and queer demi-monde of the roaring Nineties. Could this be a new genre? The bawdy lesbian picaresque novel?” Independent on Sunday
Sarah Waters was born in Wales in 1966. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature and has been an associate lecturer with the Open University.
She has written six novels: Tipping the Velvet (1998), which won the Betty Trask Award; Affinity (1999), which won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday / John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Fingersmith (2002), which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize, and won the South Bank Show Award for Literature and the CWA Historical Dagger; The Night Watch (2006), which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize; The Little Stranger (2009), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the South Bank Show Literature Award. The Paying Guests is her latest novel, released in 2014.
She was included in Granta's prestigious list of 'Best of Young British Novelists 2003', and in the same year was voted Author of the Year by both publishers and booksellers at the British Book Awards and the BA Conference, and won the Waterstone's Author of the Year Award.
Adaptations include Tipping the Velvet (multi award winning, BAFTA nominated) by Sally Head Productions for BBC; Fingersmith (BAFTA nominated) by Sally Head Productions for BBC; Affinity (several awards worldwide) by Box TV for ITV; The Night Watch for BBC. The Little Stranger is in development as a feature film with Potboiler Productions, adapted by Lucinda Coxon and to be directed by Lennie Abrahamson.
Stage adaptations of Tipping The Velvet (written by Laura Wade, to be directed by Lindsay Turner for Lyric Theatre/Edinburgh Lyceum) and Fingersmith (written by Alexa Junge, to be directed by Bill Rauch for The Oregon Shakespeare Festival) are to be presented in 2015.