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Wed, 24 Jul


Pickering Book Tree

Scott Alexander Howard

Join us in conversation with Scott Alexander Howard to discuss his internationally bestselling debut, ‘The Other Valley’. Philosophical, lyrical and unique, this deeply moving novel is perfect for fans of Emily St John Mandel and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Scott Alexander Howard
Scott Alexander Howard

Time & Location

24 Jul 2024, 19:30

Pickering Book Tree, 43a Market Pl, Pickering YO18 7AL, UK

About the event

We are thrilled to welcome Scott Alexander Howard to the Book Tree to discuss his internationally bestselling debut, The Other Valley.

We’ll be in conversation with Scott about his stunning literary novel, which is a cross between Kazuo Ishiguro's speculative work and the heart-rending search for where it all went wrong in Matt Haig's The Midnight Library.

Both emotional and philosophical, The Other Valley has been chosen as an Indie Next pick in the US, and is in development for a major new television series.

About the Book

Astonishingly brilliant. My book of the year — Liz Nugent, Sunday Times-bestselling author of Strange Sally Diamond

A deeply moving, ultimately thrilling story about memory, love and regret — The Guardian

For fans of Emily St John Mandel and Kazuo Ishiguro, an exhilarating literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighboured by its own past and future, and a young girl who faces an impossible choice...

Sixteen-year-old Odile Ozanne is an awkward, quiet girl, but everyone knows she's destined to land a coveted seat on the Conseil. In her apprenticeship, she competes to become one of the judges to decide who may travel across the border. If she earns the position, she'll decree who may be escorted deep into the woods, who may cross the border's barbed wire fence, who may make the arduous trek over the western mountain range - or perhaps the eastern range - to descend into the next valley over. It's the same valley, the same town. However, to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it's twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness. The only border crossings permitted by the Conseil are mourning tours: furtive viewings of the dead in towns where the dead are still alive.

Odile, wise beyond her years, will surely pass the Conseil's vetting. But when she happens upon a mourning tour she wasn't supposed to see, she realises her friend Edme's parents have crossed the border from the east, from twenty years in the future, to view their son still alive in Odile's present. Sworn to secrecy by the Conseil in order to preserve the timeline, Odile finds herself drawn even closer to the doomed boy, and her own future is thrown into a devastating downward spiral.

If your soul was stricken by the years, your teeth bloodied from all of life's blows, would you risk being seen by the armed patrols, would you gamble with everyone's lives, with your own, with the annihilation of an entire timeline to hike across the border and get back to where it all went wrong?

A stellar debut, full of heartbreak and hope wrapped up in gorgeous prose. Scott Alexander Howard is one to watch — Christina Dalcher, author of Vox

Part Ishiguro, part Amis, and somehow all its own, The Other Valley marks the debut of a phenomenally talented writer. Pay attention — Sarah Langan, author of Good Neighbours

About the Author

Scott Alexander Howard has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto, where he wrote an award-winning dissertation on literary emotions and the passage of time. His articles have appeared in journals such as Philosophical Quarterly and Analysis. Upon completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, he decided to pursue fiction. He now lives in Vancouver.


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