The Curiosity Cabinet
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Press Release - August 2011

 

THE CURIOSITY CABINET

 

‘The island reminds her of those magic painting books. The shop here used to sell them. You would dip your brush in water and pale, clear colours would emerge from the page, as this green and blue landscape is emerging from the mist.’

 

When Alys revisits the beautiful Hebridean island of Garve after an absence of twenty five years, she is captivated by the embroidered casket on display in her hotel. She discovers that it belongs to Donal, her childhood playmate, and soon they resume their old friendship. Interwoven with the story of their growing love, is the darker tale of Henrietta Dalrymple, kidnapped by the formidable Manus McNeill and held on Garve against her will. With three hundred years separating them, the women are linked by the cabinet and its contents, by the tug of motherhood and by the magic of the island itself. But Garve has its secrets, past and present. Donal must learn to trust Alys enough to confide in her and, like Henrietta before her, Alys must earn the right to belong.

 

What people have said about this book:

‘A powerful story about love and obligation… a persuasive novel, very well written’ - John Burnside.

‘Heartwarming, realistic and page turning’ – Lorraine Kelly.

‘A stunning Hebridean setting’ – the Sunday Herald.

 

The Curiosity Cabinet was one of three novels shortlisted for the prestigious 2005 Dundee Book Prize. It was published in the same year by Polygon but has been out of print for some time. This edition is available only on Kindle. The new cover design is by textile artist Alison Bell, who interpreted her own response to the book as follows: ‘The narrative works on many layers of memory and time, some hazy, some forgotten, but the island’s presence is constant, as a refuge and a place to grow and start afresh. I wanted the colours to be soft, subtle, muted, with hints of turquoise, like the sea up there. It is a gentle book which drifts into the mind’s eye as each chapter unfolds.’

 

Catherine Czerkawska is an award winning author of historical novels, short stories and many plays for the stage and for BBC Radio 4. When not writing, she also finds time to collect and deal in antique and vintage textiles, especially those with a Scottish or Irish provenance. She's fascinated by costume history and often finds that antique textiles: embroideries, lace, silks and satins, find their way into her fiction.

For more information please contact:

Catherine Czerkawska

catherine.czerkawska@gmail.com

http://wordarts.blogspot.com

 

All enquiries regarding rights should be addressed to Edwin Hawkes at The Makepeace Towle Literary Agency rights@makepeacetowle.com

The Curiosity Cabinet &
A Quiet Afternoon in the Museum of Torture
Now available to download
from Amazon's Kindle Store.

UPDATE: February 2012 - two more books up on Kindle - a new novel - - called Bird of Passage, and a trio of ghost stories called Stained Glass:

 


Press Release - March 2005

 

THE CURIOSITY CABINETa new novel by Catherine Czerkawska

will be published by Polygon on March 25th 2005

 ISBN No 1904598420 Paperback. 256pp. Price £8.99.

( Available for purchase now on amazon.com )

“A powerful story about love and obligation… a persuasive novel, very well written”: John Burnside.

"Congratulations on a delightful book - heartwarming, realistic and page turning." Lorraine Kelly. 

 When Alys revisits the beautiful Hebridean island of Garve after an absence of twenty five years, she is enchanted by the embroidered cabinet on display in her hotel. She discovers that it belongs to her childhood playmate Donal, now a creel fisherman, and soon they resume their old friendship. Interwoven with the story of their growing love, is the darker tale of Henrietta, kidnapped by the fearsome Manus McNeill and held on Garve against her will. With three hundred years separating them, the women are linked by the casket, by the tug of motherhood and by the island itself. But Garve has its secrets. Donal must learn to trust Alys enough to confide in her and, like Henrietta before her, Alys must earn the right to belong.

The Curiosity Cabinet is one of three shortlisted novels for the 2005 Dundee Book Prize. The novel will be available after 25th March, from good bookshops including Ottakars, from www.birlinn.co.uk  and from Amazon. (Positive reviews will be very welcome!) I also have a new novel in search of a publisher: Darragh Martin is the powerful story of a lifelong obsessive love affair between islander Ceit Galbreath and Irish “incomer” Darragh Martin, spanning the years from the 1960s to the present day . Contact me on 01655 750386 or catherine@wordarts.co.uk  for further information or visit my website at www.wordarts.co.uk  to read extracts from both novels.