Orion Modern & Contemporary TPB April £13.99 368pp 978 1 4091 6297 1 eBook: £13.99 / 978 1 4091 6299 5 Audio: £16.99 / 978 1 4091 6300 8 / 7 hrs
Both laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly sad, Shtum is a powerful, emotional, but above all enjoyable read with streaks of brilliant humour and levity.
JEM LESTER Shtum
Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, Shtum is a story about fathers and sons, autism and dysfunctional relationships. Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-yearold son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope. When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in north London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together. As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of wellmeaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled. • Jem’s experience of having an autistic son is reflected in the authenticity of his writing. • Shtum won the 2013 Peters, Fraser & Dunlop/City University Prize for Fiction. • A great read for fans of David Nicholls, The Rosie Project and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. • A perfect fit for book clubs. Jem Lester was a journalist for nine years, and also taught English and Media Studies at secondary schools. He has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic. He lives in London with his partner and her two children.
Location: Barnet Available for interview
Orion Fiction • April 2016