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Amanda Craig

hearts-and-mindsHearts and Minds

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010

Rich or poor, five people, seemingly very different, find their lives in the capital connected in undreamed-of ways. There is Job, the illegal mini-cab driver whose wife in Zimbabwe no longer answers his letters; Ian, the idealistic supply teacher in exile from South Africa; Katie from New York, jilted and miserable as a dogsbody at a political magazine, and fifteen-year-old Anna, trafficked into sexual slavery. Polly Noble, an overworked human rights lawyer, knows better than most how easy it is to fall through the cracks into the abyss. Yet when her au pair, Iryna, disappears, Polly's own needs and beliefs drag her family into a world of danger, deceit and terror.

Riveting, humane, engaging, Hearts and Minds is a novel that is both entertaining and prepared to ask the most serious questions about the way we live.


“In the dead of night, in midwinter, an unidentified villain heaves the freshly murdered body of a young woman into a pond on a deserted heath and watches it sink beneath the inky water. It is an arresting opening that hooks you straight into Amanda Craig's compelling new novel, a sprawling, ambitious tale that is part-thriller, part-love story, part-detective yarn, but above all a book about the way we live now...”
Lisa O’Kelly, The Observer

“The spectre of Dickens haunts Hearts and Minds, the satisfying architecture of which nods to the fine Victorian fictional web in its scrutiny of the twenty first century city...Throughout, the writing is confident, purposeful, quietly dynamic...Impressively, the narrative’s contained momentum is achieved neither at the expense of humour nor of Craig’s characters.....perfectly conjures the capital’s beautiful, broken carousel.” Stephanie Cross, The TLS

“The big, panoramic London novel we've been waiting for.” The Guardian

“Craig eschews laboured profundity. Her style is immediate and precise, and convincingly dramatic. She skilfully mixes skilled reportage with a filmic sensibility.... You can't put this novel down, even if babies are yelling and pots are boiling. A terrific read.” Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent

Published by

UK / Little, Brown

Italy / Casini