Summer of 1911. The streets of London ring with cheers for a new king's coronation and the cries of increasingly violent suffragette protests.
Connie Callaway, fired up by the possibilities of independence, wants more than the conventional comforts of marriage. Spirited and courageous, she is determined to fight for 'the greatest cause the world has ever known'.
Will Maitland, the rising star of county cricket, is a man of traditional opinions. He is both intrigued and appalled by Connie's outspokenness and her quest for self-fulfilment.
Buffeted and spun by choice and chance, their lives become inextricably entangled, even as the outbreak of war drives them further apart. This is a deeply affecting story of love against all the odds.
‘Half of the Human Race is the sort of novel one presses on a friend in a spirit of happy envy, confident of the fictional treat that lies ahead of them’
‘Powerful and touching’
‘Excellent and surprising... wonderfully rich... A thoroughly absorbing and moving novel and it is testament to the author's adaptability and energy that he is equally at home writing about feminist civil rights, cricket, prisons, art and medicine. And love. Especially love. A good all-rounder indeed’
‘Quinn's impeccable eye for detail, perfect pitch for the nuances of dialogue, and the quiet, understated passion that enlivens his writing combine here to make his considerable achievement seem effortless... The Rescue Man won prizes. Half of the Human Race should follow in its footsteps and establish its author as one of our most impressive novelists’
‘What lights up Half of the Human Race is not only the Suffragist movement in all its glory and lunacy, but Quinn's affection for his cast... So often, historical fiction relies on research for its colour and depth of interest, but these are people who feel absorbingly real in their misunderstandings, jokes, troubles and passions...and this makes the novel equally interesting to both sexes...moving... compelling... satisfying’
‘Few books boast a suffragette heroine and a professional cricket hero but Anthony Quinn's second novel pulls off such a strange pairing because it is old-fashioned in a very good way... Quinn memorably foregrounds the humanity of the characters...and tells their stories wonderfully’
‘A seamless tapestry...The rhythm of rejection and understanding in Connie and Will's relationship is mapped out with care and precision. The permutations between them and sad, lonely Tam are explored with such exemplary meticulousness that you can't help but be touched’
THE SUNDAY TIMES
‘The Suffragette movement and pre-war country cricket might seem an odd couple for a novel but Anthony Quinn marries them perfectly in a nostalgic and compelling tale whose themes of love and friendship on and off the pitch will appeal to lovers of romance and cricket alike’
‘Not just an exhilarating love story... a bold, impressive novel’
Anthony Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1964. Since 1998 he has been the film critic of the Independent. His first novel The Rescue Man (2009) won the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.
Vintage Paperback, £7.99, ebook also available, 26th January 2012