Jenn Ashworth and Kylie Whitehead in conversation with Naomi Booth

  • DATE

    19 October 2021

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome




    Blackwell's Bookshop Manchester
    University Green, 146 Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9GP

Join us for an evening celebrating two of our favourite novels of 2021 – Jenn Ashwoth’s GHOSTED: A LOVE STORY and ABSORBED by Kylie Whitehead. They’ll be chatting to author Naomi Booth (EXIT MANAGEMENT)

Jenn Ashworth – GHOSTED: A LOVE STORY (Sceptre)

A deeply affecting and unconventional love story, shot through with anger, black humour and grief.

One ordinary morning, Laurie’s husband Mark vanishes, leaving behind his phone and wallet. For weeks, she tells no one, carrying on her job as a cleaner at the local university, visiting her tricky, dementia-suffering father and holing up in her tower-block flat with a bottle to hand. When she finally reports Mark as missing, the police are suspicious. Why did she take so long? Wasn’t she worried?

It turns out there are many more mysteries in Laurie’s account of events, though not just because she glosses over the facts. At the time, she couldn’t explain much of her behaviour herself. But as she looks back on the ensuing wreckage – the friendships broken, the wild accusations she made, the one-night stand – she can see more clearly what lay behind it. And if it’s not too late, she can see how she might repair the damage and, most of all, forgive herself.

Jenn Ashworth was born in 1982 in Preston. She studied English at Cambridge and since then has gained an MA from Manchester University, trained as a librarian and run a prison library in Lancashire. She now lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster. Her first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, was published in 2009 and won a Betty Trask Award. In 2011 her second, Cold Light, was published by Sceptre and she was chosen by BBC’s The Culture Show as one of the twelve Best New British Novelists. Her most recent novels, The Friday Gospels and Fell, were published to resounding critical acclaim. She has also written a memoir, Notes Made While Falling. She lives in Lancaster with her husband, son and daughter.

Kylie Whitehead – ABSORBED (New Ruins)

Allison has been with Owen since university. Shes given up on writing her novel and is working a dull office job at the local council now it feels like the only interesting thing about her is that shes Owens girlfriend. But hes slipping away from her, and Allison has no idea who shell be without him. Panicking, she absorbs him… Soon Allison begins taking on Owens best qualities, becoming the person she always thought she should be. But is Owen all she needs to complete herself? Will Allison ever be a whole person?

Kylie Whitehead is originally from rural Mid Wales and currently lives in London. She works in marketing with technology startups. Absorbed is her first novel.

Naomi Booth is the author of THE LOST ART OF SINKING, SEALED and most recently EXIT MANAGEMENT. She was selected for New Writing North’s Read Regional campaign in 2017 and she was named one of the Guardian’s Fifty Writers to Read Now in 2018. She is the recipient of a Saboteur Award for Best Novella, and has been longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, BBC Radio 3, and as part of the Audible Original series Hag. She completed her PhD research on the literary history of swooning and teaches at Durham University. She has spent most of her life in Yorkshire: she was born in Bradford, grew up in Dewsbury, and now lives in York.

Books by all three authors will be available to purchase on the night and there will be a signing following the talk. If you would like a signed copy but cannot make it to the event, please contact us on 0161 274 3331 or and we can arrange this for you. Covid-19 precautions will be adhered to in order to ensure the safety of of our attendees, authors and booksellers.