Books by Amanda Hale

Books by Amanda Hale

 

MAD HATTER

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When Christopher Brooke is arrested under Regulation 18B in June 1940 a slow process of personal disintegration begins, affecting his family irreversibly. Irish farm girl, Mary Byrne, is hired as housekeeper of the Brooke household and proves an acute observer of the daily lives of Cynthia Brooke and her three children. But when Mary is shockingly expelled from the house upon Christopher’s release from internment, 15-month-old Katie – conceived on a prison leave and now speaking from adulthood – takes over as narrator. Moving from the pre-war political era of Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, Mad Hatter delves into the wartime lives of Britons, and tracks them into the aftermath in a disturbing but ultimately transcendent story of a daughter’s search for family history. Mad Hatter charts the slow unraveling of a marriage and the tightening of its children in the devastation of post-war England as the story of the Brooke family moves inexorably to a tragic conclusion in which Mary Byrne is once again embraced by the family, but in a most surprising manner.

A beautiful book about a difficult story. This fictionalized memoir, following Christopher Brooke from pacifism into delusional extremism, is told with subtlety and compassion. I am left exhilarated by Amanda Hale’s ability to tell her experience with such insight and candour. Susan Crean, author of Finding Mr. Wong

If you think the fascist politics of Oswald Mosley is old hat, read Mad Hatter and think again. Amanda Hale, drawing on childhood experience, brings emotional intelligence to bear on the fatal marriage of personal and political. Ted Goodden, author of Glory Boy

Mad Hatter is a fictionalized memoir that marries the clarity of childhood perception with the wisdom of adult recall.

Mad Hatter is a fictionalized memoir that marries the clarity of childhood perception with the wisdom of adult recall.

 

MAD HATTER

Guernica Editions, 2019

When Christopher Brooke is arrested under Regulation 18B in June 1940 a slow process of personal disintegration begins, affecting his family irreversibly. Irish farm girl, Mary Byrne, is hired as housekeeper of the Brooke household and proves an acute observer of the daily lives of Cynthia Brooke and her three children. But when Mary is shockingly expelled from the house upon Christopher’s release from internment, 15-month-old Katie – conceived on a prison leave and now speaking from adulthood – takes over as narrator. Moving from the pre-war political era of Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, Mad Hatter delves into the wartime lives of Britons, and tracks them into the aftermath in a disturbing but ultimately transcendent story of a daughter’s search for family history. Mad Hatter charts the slow unraveling of a marriage and the tightening of its children in the devastation of post-war England as the story of the Brooke family moves inexorably to a tragic conclusion in which Mary Byrne is once again embraced by the family, but in a most surprising manner.

A beautiful book about a difficult story. This fictionalized memoir, following Christopher Brooke from pacifism into delusional extremism, is told with subtlety and compassion. I am left exhilarated by Amanda Hale’s ability to tell her experience with such insight and candour. Susan Crean, author of Finding Mr. Wong

If you think the fascist politics of Oswald Mosley is old hat, read Mad Hatter and think again. Amanda Hale, drawing on childhood experience, brings emotional intelligence to bear on the fatal marriage of personal and political. Ted Goodden, author of Glory Boy

Cuban stories connected by place and a cast of overlapping characters, with themes repeated in a haunting symphony of nostalgia for the past.

ANGELA OF THE STONES

Thistledown Press, 2018

A second collection of linked stories set in Baracoa, Cuba.

Stories connected by place and a cast of overlapping characters, with themes repeated in a haunting symphony of nostalgia for the past.
Daniela flies from the roof into the arms of her unfaithful husband; Sonia marvels at the new world of her cell-phone crazy teenagers; Tito, a world away in Miami, rants about Obama’s handshake with Raúl Castro; a corpse travels the length of Cuba and back in a nightmare of bureaucracy, while Ángela huddles for the night on her bench in Parque Central.
“All of Cuba is a museum now. We live off our old Revolution,” laments Gertrudis, one in a cast of characters teetering on the verge of political change while held in the grip of the past. Godofredo, born in January 1959 as a victorious Fidel marched into Havana, limps along the streets of Baracoa where he encounters tourists and townspeople while maintaining his anonymity as the peanut vendor.

 

Amanda Hale does it again! With Ángela of the Stones Hale digs even deeper into the life of Cuba. These new stories are so powerful, the characters so vivid. Amanda is not a tourist in my country. Her writing on Cuba comes from the heart and that is why it touches the heart of the reader – sometimes joyfully, sometimes painfully – but always a humane touch.
Tomás A. López Sánchez, Cuban writer and Art Curator

The characters in these stories are simply unforgettable. Amanda Hale writes with deep sympathy and respect, feelings that can only spring from a close and emotional involvement with the Cuban people she writes about.
Manuel García Verdecia, Cuban poet, translator, and Vice-President of UNEAC

IN THE EMBRACE OF THE ALLIGATOR

A portrait of the Cuban town of Baracoa, clasped by a fist of rivers flowing from jungle mountains to Caribbean-Atlantic oceans.

MY SWEET CURIOSITY

explores the border between fact and fiction, the relation between medical science and music, and the enduring mysteries of the human body.

The Reddening Path

The story of a Guatemalan adoptee’s journey home to search for her birth mother.

SOUNDING THE BLOOD

Hale’s award-finalist debut novel, set in 1915 on a whaling station on the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands (now renamed Haida Gwaii, home of the Haida Nation)

POMEGRANATE:

a tale of remembering

A poetic lesbian love story set in the Villa of Mysteries in ancient Pompeii.

CROCODILE SUGAR

An illustrated meditation on a mural-painting experience in Marianao, Cuba

PORTRAITS AND NARRATIVES

from Cuba and Guatemala

Anecdotes & images provide windows on the lives of my Cuban and Guatemalan friends

EN BRAZOS DEL CAIMÁN

Spanish translation of IN THE EMBRACE OF THE ALLIGATOR, linked Cuban stories, from Baracoa to Havana

 

MI DULCE CURIOSIDAD

Spanish translation of MY SWEET CURIOSITY, the story of Natalya Kulikovsky, a medical student as curious as the ground-breaking Renaissance anatomist, Andreas Vesalius.

EL SENDERO ENCARNADO

Spanish translation of THE REDDENING PATH, the story of Paméla’s return to Guatemala to search for her birth mother.