Ghent University: Award-winning author and Lancaster University lecturer crafts new page-turner

An unconventional love story, shot through with anger, black humour and grief, written by a Lancaster University lecturer, has just been published.

Award-winning author and Professor of Creative Writing Jenn Ashworth has penned ‘Ghosted: A Love Story’ which was published this month by Sceptre.

The story starts on an ordinary morning, when Laurie’s husband, Mark, vanishes, leaving behind his phone and wallet.

For five 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 security guard Mark as missing, the police are suspicious. It turns out there are many more mysteries in Laurie’s account of events.

But as she looks back on the friendships broken, the wild accusations she made and 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.

Preston-born Professor Ashworth studied English at Cambridge University and since then has gained an MA from Manchester University, trained as a librarian and has run a prison library in Lancashire.

She now lectures in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, where she has worked since 2011.

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’.

Professor Ashworth, who lives in Lancaster with her husband, son and daughter, said: “After such a long period of hard work and research – supported by colleagues in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and inspired, as always, by the boldness and creativity of my creative writing students – it is so lovely to see ‘Ghosted’ out in the world.

“The novel takes in some difficult subject matter – loss, illness, grief and trauma – but I hope it also explores the strengths and fragilities of love.”

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