William Shaw for Margate Bookie x Pieced Work


The Sunday Mirror has called William Shaw’s new standalone novel The Birdwatcher, ‘A brilliantly constructed thriller, utterly compulsive’. His Breen and Tozer series, set in the 60s, was hailed as ‘an elegy for an entire alienated generation,’ by The New York Times. Before becoming a crime writer, William Shaw was an award-winning music journalist and the author of several non-fiction books, including Westsiders: Stories of the Boys in the Hood, about a year spent with the young men of South Central Los Angeles, and A Superhero For Hire, a compilation of columns from the Observer Magazine.


“Carburettor – We live in a world of neologisms, most of them born out of our new, digital culture. The machine age had its own strangely beautiful new vocabulary.

From carburet, ‘compound of carbon and another substance’. Carbon (carb), from Latin carbonem, ‘a coal, glowing coal; charcoal,’ & uret, an archaic Modern Latin suffix. Motor vehicle sense in use since 1896.


“Wound – Such a mournful, ancient word that expresses both the act and the result of the act. I would love to be able to use it in a book title but it’s one of those odd English words that reads ambiguously because of also being the past participle of to wind, and sadly doesn’t really work in a short phrase. ”

From Old English wund, ‘hurt, injury, ulcer’. 


William Shaw will be at Margate Bookie on Sunday, August 21st – find tickets here

Main image: Photo by Aaron C. Greenman 


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