Cuddy

The triumphant new novel from the Walter Scott Prize-winning author of The Gallows Pole and The Offing

Cuddy is a bold and experimental retelling of the story of the hermit St. Cuthbert, unofficial patron saint of the North of England.

Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras – from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the 8th century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity.

Along the way we meet brewers and masons, archers and academics, monks and labourers, their visionary voices and stories echoing through their ancestors and down the ages.

And all the while at the centre sits Durham Cathedral and the lives of those who live and work around this place of pilgrimage – their dreams, desires, connections and communities.

Reviews:

*Chosen as a book to watch out for in 2023 by The Times, Observer, Guardian, Irish Times and Scotsman**

‘It’s been a while since I’ve reacted as emotionally to a novel … An epic the north has long deserved: ambitious, dreamy, earthy, dark, welcoming and not … There are readers like me who will not just enjoy this book but feel deeply grateful for its existence’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘A polyphonic hymn to a very specific landscape and its people. At the same time, it deepens his standing as an arresting chronicler of a broader, more mysterious seam of ancient folklore that unites the history of these isles as it’s rarely taught’ OBSERVER

‘Myers is maturing into a serious writer rather than just a sombre one. Cuddy is an ambitious and accomplished novel that shows it’s not — necessarily — grim up north’ THE TIMES

‘There’s much to enjoy in the novel’s linguistic beauty … Cuddy explores the endurance of goodness and grace’ SPECTATOR
‘A sensational piece of storytelling … The symbiosis of poetry and story, of knowledge and deep love, marks out Cuddy as a singular and significant achievement’ GUARDIAN

‘Mesmerising, lyrical … Stands in a genre of its own … Serves as a reminder that we are but custodians of a world we inherited. Cuddy cements Myers’s standing as one of our finest, and most deftly imaginative, writers’ I NEWS
‘Myers traces … the manifold threads of history to remarkable effect’ IRISH TIMES
‘The cathedral is a wonder … in its elegance and grotesquery, its shimmering and its solidity, Myers captures it accurately. Indeed, that could be a description of his book’ SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

‘Marvellous, artful, enchanted … With power and pathos, this novel follows the cult of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne from the 7th century to the present day’ DAILY TELEGRAPH

‘Spare, poetic, haunting, tenderly observed … Myers is a natural storyteller … [with] a poetic sensibility, and as a writer he enjoys the snap and crunch of words, and the way they can summon an atmosphere’ PROSPECT

‘A wonder … An accomplished and very moving novel’ SCOTSMAN

‘Myers chisels a cohesive and engaging portrait of a place laden with history’ TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

‘An absorbingly beautiful book … There aren’t many writers as attuned to the present state of this country and the history and landscape that made it as Myers, who succeeds repeatedly in harnessing time with compassion, kindness and a rare gift for finding the right voice for the right people in the right era’ NEW EUROPEAN
‘Rich, rewarding, dark and comic, Cuddy is, like that cathedral, a magnificent construction’ BUZZMAG

‘Brave, bold and brilliantly alive, Cuddy calls forth the voices and the places of the north in a kaleidoscopic portrait through time. Myers at his best: dark, sharp, earthy and superbly funny. Cuddy isn’t a novel, it’s an invocation’ ROB COWEN, author of Common Ground

‘Cuddy is a work of art. Ben Myers has pulled off a kind of magic trick … Daring, expansive and deeply satisfying, Cuddy is a truly original piece of writing which weaves a special kind of magic. I was left completely spellbound. I loved every minute of this dazzling and deeply original novel’ CLOVER STROUD, author of The Red of My Blood

‘Once again Ben Myers has built another time machine in words and I thoroughly enjoyed being humped around early medieval northern England alongside St Cuthbert’s holy corpse via centuries of fisticuffs and up Durham Cathedrals tower to a sensitive take on issues of our own time. Most of all I appreciated how Myers explores faith and belief without the usual eyeroll and cynicism of our excessively secular age – I feel St Cuthbert’s monks and masons looking down through history with a certain sense of pride’ LUKE TURNER, author of Out of the Woods

‘To be able to move from the Dark Ages, to the Middle Ages, to the Victorian Era to Modern Times and so ably capture the zeitgeist of each is a rare feat of imagination’ GABRIELLE DRAKE