Richard Canning

Roommates

The Paying Guests

By

Virago 576pp £20 order from our bookshop

As the prize season approaches, publishers’ marketing departments go into overdrive. Yet, arguably, Virago may be correct in speculating that The Paying Guests is ‘the most anticipated book of 2014’, given Waters’s legions of hardcore fans and her consistent critical track record. Each of her five previous historical novels has either been shortlisted for or secured a major literary prize – starting with her debut, Tipping the Velvet (1998), which won a Betty Trask award. Waters is in the rare position of seeing her last three novels shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Fingersmith (2002), The Night Watch (2006) and The Little Stranger (2009). She didn’t make this year’s Booker longlist, but one cannot blame Virago, perhaps, for having hoped that – unlike Angela Carter, a writer she much admires – Waters would finally relinquish the bridesmaid’s role.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,
    • 'Readers have no more power to predict where the next story is going to take them than the prisoners had to determi… ,
    • 'Ho was no Soviet or Chinese puppet. He was a nationalist first and foremost. Had the Americans just realised this.… ,