‘Annabel was a black and white figure in the distance, going in through the front doors. She worked behind the reception. I was a history teacher.’
As we meet Matt, lying across the backseat of his on/off girlfriend’s car, he begins a long confession. It starts with wrestling moves and continues past statue fires, reaching bomb threats and assault via episodes in the life of Franz von Papen, the Chancellor of interwar Germany. Piece by piece, Matt presents us with a map of his failures. Or is he part of some grander, universal fuck-up? Septembers, Christopher Prendergast’s debut novel, is a simmering tale of upheaval, revolt and loss.
‘Prendergast reanimates the ailing spaces of the City: with vision, tenderness and terrific writing.’ —James Sheard
‘The pleasure of Septembers lies in its wisdom, honesty and warmth. It isn’t a eulogy for lost worlds or ideas, or an attack on the world we’re confronted with. Prendergast’s England, hollowed by peak-capitalism, feels fraught with possibility. Life baffles his antiheroes, yet they’re stalked by hopeful conspiracies. Septembers is the smartest, freshest novel I’ve read in some time. Prendergast is a new and important voice.’ —Joe Stretch
‘Prendergast's debut is part love story, part social commentary on an urban world failing its inhabitants like history teacher Matt and his girlfriend Annabel. Prendergast cites Kurt Vonnegut as an influence, and some of that can be seen in the way he moves between the past and the present.’ —Lesley McDowell