Available in paperback (ISBN: 9780648522300) and e-book (ISBN: 9780648522317)
The action of A Thousand Tongues extends across three periods.
Released from Dartmoor Prison in 1889, a black man soon breaks back into it. Interned in the same jail in 1917, a conscientious objector seems to invite trouble and seek punishment. On a present-day Australian university campus, a Muslim student is mysteriously killed.
Gradually revealing how these enigmas are interlinked, Ian Reid’s new novel is a suspenseful story about the twists and turns of conscience, racial and sexual tensions, the limits of historical enquiry, and legacies of guilt.
Released from Dartmoor Prison in 1889, a black man breaks back into it soon afterwards. Interned in the same jail during World War 1, a conscientious objector seems to invite trouble and seek harsh punishment. On a present-day Australian university campus, a Muslim student is mysteriously killed.
Ian Reid is the author of more than a dozen books – fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His writings have been translated into five languages and won international recognition including the Antipodes prize for poetry. A Thousand Tongues, his fourth historical novel, was partly written during his tenure of a J.S. Battye Memorial Fellowship. He lives in Perth and is an Adjunct Professor in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia.
For more information about this author and his other work, see his website: www.ianreid-author.com
Praise for Ian Reid’s fiction:
- “The author’s prose is always vivid and evocative, almost poetic. The dialogue, moral dilemmas and contradictions are all handled with equally exquisite expression. It’s been a long time since I came to the end of a novel and immediately wanted to read it again to uncover more of its nuances. Ian Reid is a revelation, and deserves the widest recognition as a remarkable ambassador for Australian historical fiction.” Historical Novel Review (U.K.) – ‘Editor’s Choice’
- “A great gathering of personality, character after character, in irreducible and fully imagined life… Ian Reid gives us the ‘life-surplus’ of history: love and journeys and work and ideas, fear and purposeful action and sometimes failure, all playing out before us in this big and beautifully balanced novel of character.” Rochford Street Review
- “Reid richly evokes the abandoned English worlds of those who travel to the antipodes, whose loss is therefore the more poignant. Turn by turn he engages us with his characters’ untidy and unruly fates in an assured work of historical reconstruction and imagination.” The Australian
- “Skilfully realised… How well does any person know the ‘truth’ of another? This question underpins much of the novel and keeps the reader turning the pages… The gradual revelation of clues allows the reader to become a detective in pursuit of truth.” Transnational Literature
- “Compelling characters leap off the page… It is historical detective fiction and social commentary rolled into one. The texture shimmers.” The West Australian
- “Reid scores a considerable success in recreating the hard-scrabble frontier towns of an age that is increasingly alien to our own. The reader encounters a pageant of nineteenth-century lives here… a realistic portrait of a bleak world.” Australian Book Review
- “A complex story of mystery and intrigue… I was completely absorbed from the first page until the final scene.” Bookseller and Publisher
- “Richly layered… Wherever his characters go, Ian Reid places us vividly there.” The Age
- “Compelling… intense… poetic… It stayed with me and has been hard to shake off.” Sydney Morning Herald