Transcription by Kate Atkinson review. Published 6th September, Transworld.
Kate Atkinson’s new book is set both during and post-war; in 1950’s London, Juliet Armstrong is working as a producer for children’s radio programming at the BBC, but has failed to fully leave behind her wartime role at another venerable British Institution: M15. Her work transcribing secretly monitored meetings with ground level right wing informants had seemed prosaic enough, but events soon took a more sinister turn. Atkinson’s readers will recognise the trademark black wit as she mercilessly skewers the fascist sympathisers Juliet is spying on as well as the lightly worn historical research brought to bear on her writing from books like A God in Ruins. In the afterword she acknowledges a debt to, amongst other works, Penelope Fitzgerald’s brilliant Human Voices, also set at the BBC, but the end result is unmistakably Atkinson.
City Books will be selling the limited edition hardback with red page edges, only available in independent bookshops.