Author(s): Shena Mackay


The Nautilus, a strange building shaped like the chambered shell of the same name, was built in South London in the early 1930s. Designed on Modernist and Utopian principles, it was a haven for a floating community of cosmopolitan refugees, intellectuals and artists. Now, at the end of the century, only two of the original inhabitants still occupy their chambers- Celeste Zylberstein, joint architect with her late husband of the Nautilus, and Francis Campion, an elderly poet. Gus Crabb, a dealer in bric-a-brac, is the only other resident until, to the Nautilus, like a hermit crab seeking a home, comes Rowena Snow. Of Indian/ Scottish parentage, orphaned, without family or friends, Rowena is in search of her own Utopia- or the Heligoland of her childhood imagination.


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Shortlisted for Whitbread Prize (Novel) 2003 and Orange Prize for Fiction 2003.

"There aren't many novelists whose latest offering would make me abandon everything, but Shena Mackay is one." -- "Mail on Sunday"
"She writes like an angel wielding a scalpel, dissecting her characters with sublime, sharp-edged prose." -- "Guardian"

"From the Hardcover edition."

General Fields

  • : 9780099273592
  • : vinteb
  • : vinteb
  • : 0.151
  • : January 2004
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Shena Mackay
  • : Paperback
  • : New edition
  • : 823.914
  • : 224