Hot Stew

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A riotous novel about sex and money set in the electric world of Soho, featuring a group of sex workers, a billionaire Russian oligarch, a nearly over-the-hill actor, junkie vagabonds, a once far-right extremist and a very glamorous borzoi

Pungent, steamy, insatiable Soho; the only part of London that truly never sleeps. Tourists dawdling, chancers skulking, addicts shuffling, sex workers strutting, punters prowling, businessmen striding, the homeless and the lost. Down Wardour Street, ducking onto Dean Street, sweeping into L'Escargot, darting down quiet back alleyways, skirting dumpsters and drunks, emerging on to raucous main roads, fizzing with energy and riotous with life.

On a corner, sits a large townhouse, the same as all its neighbours. But this building hosts a teeming throng of rich and poor, full from the basement right up to the roof terrace. Precious and Tabitha call the top floors their home but it's under threat; its billionaire-owner Agatha wants to kick the women out to build expensive restaurants and luxury flats. Men like Robert, who visit the brothel, will have to go elsewhere. Those like Cheryl, who sleep in the basement, will have to find somewhere else to hide after dark. But the women won't go quietly. Soho is their turf and they are ready for a fight.

Author: Fiona Mozley

Paperback Published 30 March 2021 320 pages

"Beguiling . . . A lyrical and mythic work . . . Mozley's sheer storytelling confidence sends the reader sailing." The New York Times

"[A] magical debut novel. Set in modern-day Yorkshire, this dazzling debut feels steeped in a more primitive, violent past. Teenagers Cathy and Daniel are living self-sufficiently in the woods with their father--until their peaceful existence is threatened by a wealthy landowner. Narrated by 14-year-old Daniel in seductively poetic prose, the book shines a light on the toll of power wielded cruelly, as well as on a countering force: the extraordinary sustenance family devotion can provide." People (Book of the Week)

"Excellent . . . Brims with primal, folkloric power."Wall Street Journal

"Fiona Mozley's debut novel, Elmet, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is a firestorm of a story. Through carefully woven characters, Mozley spools a tale that simultaneously homes in on the dynamics of a family and assesses the systemic issues within a rural society." Electric Literature

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