Pity is the debut novel from award-winning poet Andrew McMillan, that explores community, masculinity and post-industrialization in Northern England. The town was once a hub of industry. A place where men toiled underground in darkness, picking and shoveling in the dust and the sleck. It was dangerous and back-breaking work but it meant something. It was once important and had purpose, but what is it now?

Brothers Alex and Brian have spent their whole lives in the town where their father lived, and his father too. Now in his middle age and still reeling from the collapse of his personal life, Alex must reckon with a part of his identity he has long tried to conceal. His only son Simon has no memory of the mines, and works in a call centre, but his true passion comes from his side hustle in sex work and his weekly drag gigs.

Set across three generations of a South Yorkshire mining family, this novel is a lament for a lost way of life as well as a celebration of resilience and the possibility for change.

Available from Canongate

Andrew McMillan was born in Barnsley in 1988. His debut collection of poetry, physical, was ‘the sort of once-in-a-generation debut that causes everyone to sit up and take notice’ according to Sarah Crown. physical was the only poetry book to ever win the Guardian First Book Award; it was also awarded a Somerset Maugham award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and in 2019 was voted as one of the Top 25 Poetry Books of the Past 25 Years by the Booksellers Association. His second collection, playtime, won the inaugural Polari Prize. A third collection, pandemonium, was published in 2021 and in 2022 he co-edited the acclaimed anthology 100 Queer Poems, which was shortlisted in the British Book Awards. He is professor of contemporary writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

@AMcMillanPoet | andrewmcmillanpoet.co.uk

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.