‘Perhaps it will be all right, I thought. Perhaps, when I go to work, there will be peace, and Theobald will stop jumping from foot to foot, and Eva will no longer be beautiful.’
Gert Hardcastle leads a life of isolation, cataloguing the Egyptian artefacts at a northern museum – until the First Letter drops onto her desk. That’s the day she meets ballroom-dancing, iris-eyed Eva, and her careful, stilted existence begins to unravel. As Gert begins her strange courtship of Eva, she looks back on her eccentric, surreal upbringing – the rambling house with its resident Victorian ghost, her peculiar, telepathic twin, her father George with his family crocodile farm, and her beautiful, neglectful mother Jean, whose letters continue to disturb her peace.
Award-winning author Julia Darling’s classic tale of the search for love, identity and acceptance is funny, poignant and bizarre by turns, as Gert gradually learns that her journey to the future must go via the past.
This commemorative edition of 1998’s Orange Prize longlisted Crocodile Soup is a celebration of the work and life of the extraordinary woman that was Julia Darling.
Published 28 May 2015
Available in paperback and as an ebook
JULIA DARLING died at the height of her writing career, with a new book, The Poetry Cure, about to be published, a collection of her plays for radio and television underway, a play, Manifesto for a New City, touring the North East and with a visual art/poetry project, First Aid Kit for the Mind, a collaboration with the artist Emma Holliday, in production.
Julia had been using her personal experience of cancer as her creative subject, especially in her poetry. She produced two life-enhancing collections of poems, Sudden Collapses in Public Places and Apology for Absence, in which she creatively responded to her life with cancer and suggested how poetry and humour could be used to combat both pain and suffering. She was also a fellow in writing and health at Newcastle University’s School of English, where she used her gifts to pioneer creative writing teaching within medical training and set up projects with hospitals and doctors.