Cwen

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Synopsis

A mysterious death, a band of women and a remote island where anything is possible… On an unnamed archipelago off the east coast of Britain, the impossible has come to pass. Women control the civic institutions. Decide how the islands' money is spent. Run the businesses. Tend to their families. Teach the children hope for a better world. They say that this gynotopia is Eva Levi's life's work, and that now she has disappeared, it will be destroyed. But they don't know about Cwen. Cwen has been here longer than the civilisation she has returned to haunt. The clouds are her children, and the waves. Her name has ancient roots, reaching down into the earth and halfway around the world. The islands she inhabits have always belonged to women. And she will do anything she can to protect them. This remarkable novel is a portrait of female power and female potential, both to shelter and to harm. What are we? Islanders or mainlanders, migrants or landowners, men or women, past or future? Or a mixture of them all? And how do we make sense of these islands we call home? ‘Fantastic – a wonderful book. With intelligence, wit and zest, Cwen's matriarchal dream ... offers a bold vision of an alternative future, teases at our deep past and subtly weaves together our environment and gender' Lily Cole Alice Albinia is the prize-winning author of two books, Empires of the Indus anda novel, Leela's Book. RLF Fellow at King's College London, she has spent the past seven years travelling around the edges of Britain, from Orkney to Anglesey, piecing together ancient, medieval and modern tales of islands ruled by women.

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