Counterfeiter. Dishwasher. Prostitute. Attorney. Sculptor. Mercenary. Elephant. Corpse. The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's latest fact-inspired fictions have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters. They cross other borders, too: those of race, law, sex and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress. Donoghue describes the brutal plot hatched by a slave in conjunction with his master's wife to set them both free; she draws out the difficulties of gold mining in the Yukon, even in the supposedly plentiful early days, and she takes us to an early Puritan community in Massachusetts unsettled by an invented sex scandal. "Astray" also includes "The Hunt", a shocking confession of one soldier's violent betrayal during the American Revolution, which has been shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Short Story Award. "Astray" is a sequence of fourteen stories by the prize-winning author of "Room" and "The Sealed Letter". These strange, true tales light up four centuries of wanderings, offering a past made up of deviations, and a surprising and moving history for restless times.
'Emma Donoghue writes books that are unlike anything I have ever seen before, and Astray is no exception. There is such a deep and compassionate imagination at work in every story in this collection that Astray feels almost like an act of clairvoyance.' Ann Patchett, Orange prize-winning author of Bel Canto
Born in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an Irish writer who spent eight years in England before moving to Canada. Her fiction includes Slammerkin, Life Mask, Touchy Subjects, The Sealed Letter and the international bestseller Room (shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes).