In the second age of the world, a time of prehistory, a time of myth, Mandodari, queen of the demon king Ravana, invents chess to carve out a role for herself in a world where male, martial virtues are paramount. As a chess player, she can play at warfare; as queen, she can be the most potent warrior on the battlefield.
The Queen's Play attempts to write the origin of chess into the narrative cycles of the Ramayana, one of the two formative epics of ancient India.The cursory mention of a chess-like game in the Ramayana lore offers interesting parallels and openings between the game and the themes of the epic poem. At the centre of it is a queen, first entering and then growing from strength to strength to become the most powerful piece on the board, inventing a game which closely parallels the epic battle taking place not far from the royal palace, a battle which she is not permitted to join, a battle where she will lose her king. Foregrounding certain episodes from the vast tapestry of the epic, the novel develops new narrative variations that feed back into the classical text with freshly imagined material.
Nigel Jay Cooper
A moving and vulnerable depiction of a relationship in decline. At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, it explores what it means to live, to love and to lose.
What ex-diplomat Michael Blake wanted was a quiet birding trip up the Nile – he wasn’t expecting a revolution ...
Nigel Jay Cooper
Who gets to say what's normal?
Frank will do anything to keep his mother and father apart. But he's carrying baggage - and it might just weigh him down ...
Alan Harrison is mourning the death of his wife. A trip to Sweden is in the offing - but will it help him get over it?
George B. Handley
A shared love of the Utah landscape heals family wounds for two unlikely friends in this tale of restoration in the wake of loss and betrayal.
Oh how Lou Brown misses being a poor and miserable failure - he was so free then! This brilliant and hilarious novel is On the Road meets Catcher in the Rye in modern-day Los Angeles.
One rainy afternoon in a Brooklyn diner, Peter Howland punctures an egg with his fork. Repulsed, Peter pushes the plate away and never eats again.
As war threatens Rome, a man and a girl must risk all for their Emperor - in the forests of Germany.
Gary D. Wilson
Connie is dying. She wants her brother to write the story of her life. OK. Sure. Simple enough. Right?