Paul Pickering author


Publisher:Salt Publishing

Published:30th Jul '21


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

Elephant cover

In a country house in England a precocious teenage exile from revolutionary Russia sets down his adventures on paper, beginning with his first ball in St Petersburg and how he frees a huge African elephant from a cruel circus. But a hundred years later an American academic feels the boy may have invented the elephant as the only kind and uplifting being in dark times.

What Elephant provides to the reader is a gloriously absorbing story about storytelling, as rich in suspense and vitality as it is in incidents and images that dare you to disbelieve them. An ice-bound Russian lake is filled with the frozen bodies of neatly dressed office girls. A zeppelin appears above Wentworth Woodhouse, equipped with a harnessed undercarriage that can carry a full-grown Indian elephant away from imminent danger.

-- Miranda Seymour * Financial Times *

At the centre of Pickering’s meticulously researched narrative is the gigantic female elephant, a metaphor for lost innocence and uncorrupted simplicity the fast-industrialising capitalist world feels apprehensive of. Alexei’s dream about ‘the river of dark fire’ is actually an echo of Schopenhauer’s account of ‘the anarchic, artistic Wille, the raw power behind creation’. The elephant, as Natasha fails to convince the émigrés, ‘is a counter to the inhumanity of our digital age’

-- Bhaskar Roy * Outlook Magazine *

I enjoyed Elephant hugely. Such an original and beguiling story. It is, like the best fiction, simultaneously so precise and particular, while yet resonating with so many contemporary universals … An intensely readable and stirring novel.

-- Stephen

ISBN: 9781784632250

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 30mm

Weight: unknown

400 pages