They Paperback by Kay Dick

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They Paperback by Kay Dick

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Product details
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Knopf Canada (Feb. 8 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 128 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1039002285
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1039002289
Item weight ‏ : ‎ 110 g
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.23 x 0.81 x 20.35 cm

“A masterwork of English pastoral horror.” —Claire-Louise Bennett
“Creepily prescient . . . Insidiously horrifying!” —Margaret Atwood (via Twitter)
“I'm pretty wild about this paranoid, terrifying 1977 masterpiece.” —Lauren Groff
“Lush, strange, hypnotic, compulsive.” —Eimear McBride
"Crystalline . . . The signature of an enchantress." —Edna O’Brien
"A masterpiece of creeping dread." —Emily St John Mandel

The radical dystopian classic, lost for forty years, with an introduction by Carmen Maria Machado.


   Published to some acclaim in 1977 but swiftly forgotten, Kay Dick's They follows a nameless, genderless narrator living along the lush but decimated English coast, where a loose cohort of cultural refugees live meditative, artistic, often polyamorous lives. But this rustic tranquility is punctuated by bursts of menace as they must continually flee a faceless oppressor, an organization known only as “They,” whose supporters range the countryside in a grisly mob of mostly mute, quasi-automatons. Moving in slow but deliberate concentric circles, “They” root out free-thinking subversives: the surviving artists, craftspeople, intellectuals, even the unmarried and the childless. As Dick unveils in ominous fragments, “They” are not affiliated with a dystopic totalitarian state, “They” are an unsanctioned multitude, the strength of which appears to lie not in official mandates, but rather in the swell of their ever-increasing numbers.
    An electrifying literary artefact—a lost dystopian masterpiece and overlooked queer classic—They returns to print in this special international publication brimming with contemporary resonance.

About the Author

KAY DICK (1915–2001) was a novelist, journalist, biographer and editor. Considered the first woman publishing director in England (at P.S. King & Son), Dick wrote five novels between 1949 and 1962, including the famous An Affair of Love (1953) and Solitaire (1958). She was a regular by-line in The TimesThe SpectatorThe New Statesmen and Punch Magazine. For many years, she edited the literary magazine The Windmill, under the pseudonym Edward Lane. She was known for campaigning tirelessly and successfully for the introduction of the Public Lending Right, which pays royalties to authors when their books are borrowed from public libraries. In 1977, Dick published They: A Sequence of Unease, which won the South-East Arts literature prize. In 1984 she followed this with an acclaimed autobiographical novel, The Shelf, in which she examined a lesbian affair. Dick worked as an editor with some of the 20th century's most notable writers, including George Orwell and L.P. Hartley.

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