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The novel cure: an A-Z of literary remedies

The novel cure: an A-Z of literary remedies

Berthoud, Ella, author; Elderkin, Susan, author

Reissued as an exquisite gift edition, this is a warm and wise guide that will prescribe you a literary remedy for any of life's ailments. When read at the right moment, a novel can change your life. Bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin know the power of a good book, and have been prescribing each other literary remedies for all life's aches and pains for decades. Together, they've compiled a medical handbook with a difference: a dictionary of literary cures for any malaise you can imagine.Whether it's struggling to find a good cup of tea (Douglas Adams, two sugars) or being in need of a good cry (Thomas Hardy, plus tissues), as well as cures for all kinds of reading ailments - from being a compulsive book buyer to a tendency to give up halfway through a novel - Ella and Susan have the tonic for all ailments, great or small. Written with authority, passion and wit, The Novel Cure is an enchanting reminder of the power and pleasure of forgetting your troubles in a good book

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Edinburgh: Canongate, 2017
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Available: Online

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Statement of responsibility: Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin
ISBN: 0857864262, 9780857864260
Note: Originally published: 2013.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 460 pages
Subject: Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers; Self-help & personal development; Literature: history & criticism; Bibliotherapy.; Literary companions, book reviews & guides; Literature.; Fiction History and criticism Theory, etc.; Literary reference works; Best books.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9781786891044

Author note

Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin met as English Literature students at Cambridge University, where they began giving novels to each other whenever one of them seemed in need of a boost. Ella went on to study fine art and become a painter and art teacher. Susan became a novelist (Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains and The Voices, both Fourth Estate) and in 2003 was listed by Granta as one of the Twenty Best of Young British Novelists. She also teaches creative writing and writes travel pieces and book reviews for various newspapers.

In 2008 they set up a bibliotherapy service through The School of Life in London, and since then have been prescribing books either virtually or in person to clients all over the world. Though they are now divided by an ocean (Ella lives in England and Susan lives in the States) they still regularly send each other fictional cures to keep them on the straight and narrow and ensure that they are living life to the full. The Novel Cure is their first book together.


Witty, engaging and informative, The Novel Cure is for anyone who loves reading. It's the sort of book you choose for a friend and end up wanting to keep. My advice would be to buy two
author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry||Witty, warm and wise, I loved this book within moments of dipping in and know I shall be returning to it for a long time to come. It's a wonderful reminder of the restorative power of fiction and ideal for anyone who has ever wondered what on earth to read next
author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP||The Novel Cure is a tonic in itself. It's tempting to become a hypochondriac just to read more
author of Maggie & Me||An exuberant pageant of literary fiction and a celebration of the possibilities of the novel
Guardian||Astute and often amusing . . . a charming addition to any library. Time spent leafing through its pages is inspiring - even therapeutic
The Economist||We're hooked
Psychologies||Brilliant . . . A perfect gift
Vogue||This book is a great way to broaden your literary horizons - and an entertaining read in its own right
The Lady||Great fun and wonderfully inspiring, The Novel Cure is a must for any booklover's shelves
The Bookseller, September's best books||Brilliant
Bookseller Editor's Pick||[An] amazing book . . . I suspect it is one that many a reader will want to own and keep to hand for every eventuality. Books about books are always a treat, I have a shelf full of them, but The Novel Cure is different, much more than that and I can see how useful it will be||In times of trouble, a good book can soothe any kind of pain. Longtime friends Berthoud and Elderkin take that notion to a new level in their delightful reference guide to 'bibliotherapy' . . . They tackle serious and not-so-serious ailments with equal verve . . . Berthoud and Elderkin's elegant prose and discussions that span the history of 2,000 years of literature will surely make readers seek out these books. Taking two novellas and calling the bibliotherapists in the morning sounds welcome indeed
Publishers Weekly||Elderkin and Berthoud handle their varied subject matter deftly. The Novel Cure remains serious without taking itself too seriously, gives advice without preaching and advocates, with warmth and humour, the importance of literature as a therapeutic medium... A note of caution, however, if reading The Novel Cure on public transport: it will make you laugh. Very loudly
Sydney Morning Herald||The tone throughout is witty and self-aware, but the authors' advice is sensible too . . . if you're looking for a book full of intriguing recommendations, it's just what the doctor ordered
Sunday Business Post||This beautifully bound compendium lists a bewildering array of classic and modern ailments... interspersed with some whimsical Top 10s with which to wile away minutes or hours
The National||This book is an absolute treat for bibliophiles, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face
A Life in Books||Written with sparkling wit, gentle common sense and plenty of bookish knowledge. The Novel Cure is both self-help and a tempting array of literary treats
The Simple Things||Deeply passionate, authoritative and obsessive, The Novel Cure is wonderfully playful and accessible for fans of books that celebrate the joys of reading
Women Talking