Work in progress
Seaside, England's Love Affair (working title)
Madeleine Bunting is working on a new non fiction title for Granta exploring England's sea resorts. A mirror to the nation, Bunting will follow a journey which runs from Scarborough to Morecombe via Skegness, Southend, Margate, Folkestone, Brighton, Bognor Regis, Weston Super Mare and Blackpool.
A story of both decline and survival, an English invention and icon which tells us much about ourselves as an island nation.
It is due to be published in 2023.
The crisis of care exposed by Covid-19 has deep historical roots. For centuries the caring labours of women have been taken for granted and care work has been underpaid; its values disregarded. Over five years, Madeleine Bunting travelled the country, speaking to charity workers, doctors, social workers, in-home carers, nurses and other caregivers to explore the value and humanity of care. She finds remarkable stories, in GP surgeries, in end-of-life teams and in work undertaken by parents for their disabled children, that conjure a different way of imagining our society and the connections between us. Labours of Love is a vital portrait of our nation and a clarion call for change.
‘Labours of Love is a masterpiece. Humane, perceptive, honest, compassionate, wide-ranging, and erudite, it is a profound inquiry into the most important social issue of our time’
'Moving, forensic and historically grounded. Labours of Love would have been timely at any point, but never more so than in the epoch-defining circumstances of 2020 as we seek at last to redefine our values’
‘An urgent, searching and vital overview of the landscape of care, published as societies everywhere are waking up to the true value of caring work. Madeleine Bunting has spent five years talking with parents and therapists, doctors and nurses, sons and daughters. The perspectives she gathers are sometimes angry, often tender, always illuminating’
'Labours of Love arrives at a perfect time: the world seems to have rediscovered the essential importance of care – but unfortunately is still very bad at valuing and resourcing it. Bunting’s terrific book can help change that. It cannot be ignored’
An extraordinary journey deep into the history and landscape of the Hebrides, exploring their turbulent history, the spread of their influence and how these islands have shaped the nations of Britain. Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize and the Saltire Prize in 2017.
'I devoured Love of Country in a couple of sittings. It's a magnificent book, a heroic journey that takes us as far into the regions of the heart as into the islands of the north west'
'A luminous enquiry... an exquisite and realistic account of life at the edge.. Bunting [is] a shining companion through the tangle of the isles.'
Candia McWilliam, 'Best Books of the Year', Herald.
A splendid, precise and gracious book.. [engaged] with questions of politics, religion, culture and our emotional responses'
Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday
'Excellent.. I cannot think of a more intellectually challenging or rewarding travel book in recent years'
Mark Cocker, New Statesman
'Bunting explores the choppy history of the Hebrides and makes you feel you are there even if you have just left'
Jackie Kay, 'Best Books of the Year', Observer
'The best book I have read about any of these islands.. It is simply a book you must read.'
The story of one acre in North Yorkshire and how it has been used over thousands of years up to the present. An exploration of place and belonging and the memoir of a father for whom landscape was one of his greatest consolations.
‘Madeleine Bunting's multidimensional chronicle is among the very best pieces of non-fiction to have been published in a long while about what it is like to be English'
Simon Schama, Financial Times
'An intriguing and elegant chronicle of a wild and woolly patch of England - Bunting is on finest form dealing with recent history, particularly when she exposes the modern cultural myth of the rural idyll… and the very English idiocy of preserving this view while the environment dies. Her scholarship ultimately produces a persuasive argument for a more potent sense of place in rootless, mobile Britain.'
'A startling, willed, one-off book - What she sets out to do is to look at the acre of land in the middle of nowhere, with scholarly zest, until it becomes no longer a nowhere but a somewhere, known and minutely understood. She is an exemplary guide. Her greatest achievement is to work a
single acre to produce a more general portrait of England. Above all, she questions what belonging is and discovers that it is about commitment rather than possession.'
Kate Kellaway, Observer
A rigorous exploration of the British work culture, Bunting explores what is driving trends of longer working hours, stress and job insecurity. Drawing from hundreds of interviews, Bunting describes the impacts on individual lives in every part of the labour market from the cleaner doing double shifts to earn a decent wage to the high flying white collar worker. She portrays the modern management techniques which persuade us to invest our sense of purpose and identity in the company brand. Finally, she looks at the cost to people, their families and the wider society of a working culture which swallows up so much time.
The book prompted debate in the UK, US and Australia. Bunting spoke at dozens of events in the years after the books' publication and then joined the TUC's Commission on Vulnerable Employment which produced its groundbreaking report in 2007
‘Brilliantly thorough and thoroughly brilliant attack on the contemporary work ethic’
‘Scholarly and immensely readable’
Jack Higgins, Mail on Sunday
The Channel Islands were the only part of Britian to have been occupied in the Second World War, this is a compelling account of the struggles and compromises involved in being part of Nazi ruled Europe. Bunting interviewed hundreds of those involved and had access to newly opened archives in the aftermath of the Cold War.
‘Madeleine Bunting is a superb chronicler of what happened.. if you want a classic example of the dilemmas of resistance, here it is’
Norman Stone, The Times
'Much the best book so far to appear on the German Occupation of the Channel Islands'
MRD Foot, Times Literary Supplement
‘A masterly work of profound research and reflection, objective and humane’
Hugh Trevor Roper, Sunday Telegraph
‘I am full of admiration for this book. By careful research and a sensitive use of light and shade, Ms Bunting holds the reader’s attention through an uncomfortable passage in our history – and one which we have been most reluctant to inform ourselves’
Alan Clark, The Guardian