La Rochelle

Debut novel from Michael Nath. Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize

‘I love this book… It’s got a real type of wit… It’s like Proust in Peckham or Hamlet in Holborn. Go and read this tremendous book.’ – Dr Lee Spinks

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Book details

ISBN: 9781901927436
Extent: 288 pages

Author: Michael Nath

Cover Price £8.99 Web £5.99

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize

‘Original, funny and absolutely spot-on.’ – The Independent

‘Stylish, very funny, discreetly surprising, this remarkable novel reads at times like a fable of England under New Labour, where nothing is quite what it seems and not much is worth what it costs.’ –
Michael Wood

Jules et Jim with a postmodern twist.  Nath has a confidence and attitude that rocks you on every page.’ – Daisy Goodwin

This darkly comic and highly original novel is set over two weeks in 2004, where we find protagonist Dr Mark Chopra, a chaste and passive neurologist. One evening Mark is summoned to help his intriguing friend Ian, whose girlfriend Laura has, simply, vanished. When we learn of the images of Laura that play in the film-roll of Mark’s mind, we realise that this disappearance has bigger consequences than initially meets the eye. Always more ready to read than to act, Mark draws on the lessons of the great philosophers and generals as both men settle in to the comfort of a drink as they try to figure out what it all might mean.

What are the triggers that can free such a man from his passive state and transform him into a gallant knight and go after his beloved Laura? Uneasily inhabiting a world which has the air of being orchestrated around him, Mark must accept assistance from extraordinary people in unexpected places, and sift enchantment from whatever might pass for reality if he is to learn the lessons of Don Quixote and La Rochelle.

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.Other Links
- Michael Nath website


Michael Nath - La Rochelle

Michael Nath reads from his novel La Rochelle. Mark goes out shooting in the Devon countryside with Frank Whitby and the regulars from the Henry IVth, an activity he declares to be ‘eminently better than thinking’. (10:15)

A Drink With Michael Nath

A conversation with Michael Nath about his début novel, La Rochelle. Michael’s drink of choice is Holsten Pils. (41:33)

  • A Drink With Michael Nath (41:33)
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  • La Rochelle Launch Event
    The launch event for Michael Nath's novel La Rochelle, held at 309 Regent Street, London. Includes a short reading from the book. (8:50)
  • La Rochelle Trailer
    Short trailer for Michael Nath's novel La Rochelle. (2:38)
  • James Tait Black Judge Discusses La Rochelle
    Michael Nath's first novel La Rochelle was shortlisted for the 2011 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. At the award ceremony held at the Edinburgh Book Festival, chair of the judges Dr Lee Spinks outlines his appreciation book. Dr Spinks is talking to Sally Magnusson. (4:08)


Michael Nath Interview - La Rochelle

Michael Nath answers questions on his novel La Rochelle. 'I was trying to write a novel that wasn’t too much like a ‘novel’. It had to have the qualities of life instead, such as thickness, abundance, presence, a degree of untidiness. I was after something baroque and dishevelled, with a coat of varnish.'


Reviews for La Rochelle


Michael Nath

Michael Nath was brought up in South Wales and Lincolnshire. He is a senior lecturer in English at the University of Westminster. His major teaching and research interests are in Creative Writing and Modernism, as well as in Shakespearean Drama. His first novel, La Rochelle, was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. La Rochelle is his first novel. His stories also feature in Wonderwall, Ideas Above our Station, Bonne Route and The Route Book at Bedtime.


I Don't Think Modernism is Dead

Michael Nath refutes the claim that Modernism is dead. 'This has annoyed the literary reviewers and metropolitan columnists, who’re in the habit of making a fuss of certain big names, and don’t appreciate being told they’ve been cheering cows; but it happens to be true.'


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