Meagre in build. Mouthy in nature. One good owner and Pottery trained, Josiah ‘Totty’ Minton is bang out of sick notes and harbouring a dream of a three-bed semi with bay windows, fully-fitted carpets and enough of a garden to stretch his legs…..
It’s the 2010 General Election. Constance Minton, her son Totty and his children Joss and Kirty are squatting in the family home on Bennett Road in Stoke on Trent. Property honcho Malcolm Gandy thinks he’s bought their house from the council fair and square and wants them out. But the Mintons refuse to budge. “It’s my right to live and die in the house that I was born in,” says Constance. And so begins their battle with landlordism during the four days when the country was at its most politically fraught.
“Angry, belligerent and bracing, Sitting Ducks is a livid and unapologetic evocation of a world most novels and novelists never get near.” Stuart Maconie, writer & broadcaster
“Here is talent, new and needed; here is another weapon in the war against self-interest and self-regard. This is a voice which I and many others have been waiting for.” Niall Griffiths, novelist
“Guttural and visceral and notices the things usual lit does not. It spits and slings the vernacular of modern Britain at the reader, breathing new life into grease-smeared walls and door-less ovens in the arse-end of Stoke, or other bits of this island literature likes to ignore. I find myself reading her lines out loud, they trip off the tongue like a John Cooper Clarke verse.” Luke Wright, poet and author
“Lisa Blower’s writing cries out with the pain of an underclass whose characters’ lives are condemned by capitalism. This debut novel can be read as an allegory for the widening chasm between Britain’s haves and have-nots and the human cost of the electorate’s 2010 betrayal of socialist ideals. Sitting Ducks marks Blower’s transition from prize-winning short story writer to novelist-to-watch.” Simon Thirsk, author of the Costa nominated ‘Not Quite White’
“It’s raw and visceral with such a strong voice, very alive.” Kit De Waal, novelist and award-winning short story writer
“It reminded me of the excellent Our Friends in the North and is a worthy addition to the canon of working class literature.” Naomi Frisby, Writes of Woman
More Praise for Sitting Ducks:
“This is a brave, angry novel fizzing with energy. Lisa writes with a devastating eye on the fragility and pathos of modern urban life while investing her characters with dignity in the bleakest of circumstances. Her rage is justified, her humour shocks and the language is vibrant and on the nail. A modern day Steinbeck.” Anna Dreda, Costa Judge & Founder of Wenlock Poetry Festival
“A topical read that packs a punch, this is an angry and unapologetic first novel.” Nicola Wilson, Press Association
“Visceral and full of heart, it offers an unflinching glimpse of a world few writers could adequately address. Here is a story about people on your street, the people no one thought to write a book about before now.” Richard Redwin, Rebel Magazine
“A fast paced novel riven with a dark, sardonic humour, Sitting Ducks both entertains and engages. A genuine pleasure to read.” Ellen Bell, for the New Welsh Review