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Paul Torday

Paul Torday is a British writer and the author of the comic novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The book was the winner of the 2007 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing and was serialised on BBC Radio 4. It won the Waverton Good Read Award in 2008.

Born in 1946 and educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, Torday only turned to fiction-writing later in life, and his first novel was published at the age of 59. Prior to that he was a successful businessman living in Northumberland. The inspiration for the novel stemmed from Torday’s interest in both fly fishing and the Middle East. From these two strands, he weaves a political satire that centres around the world of political spin management.

His second novel is entitled The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce, rebranded under its original title of Bordeaux in the United States, and is about a man who drinks himself to death.

In 2008 he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Galaxy British Book Awards.

Torday’s third book The Girl on the Landing was published in 2009. This novel deals principally with the themes of schizophrenia and racism.

His latest book, More Than You Can Say, is out now in hardback.

One Author’s Note by Piers Torday

This week we publish The Death of an Owl by Paul Torday. This was very sadly the novel Paul was working on when he passed away. Two thirds of it were written but it has been completed by his son Piers, who is a bestselling and prizewinning author in his own right. Here Piers explains why he finished writing his father’s last book.

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Paul Torday 1946 – 2013

We are very sad to tell you that the author Paul Torday passed away on Wednesday afternoon in Northumberland, aged 67. Already a very successful businessman, Paul Torday began his writing career in his late fifties. He burst on to the literary scene in 2007 with the wonderfully witty novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which sold over half a million copies in the UK, was published in 28 different territories, and won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize…

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The inspiration behind Light Shining in the Forest

Bestselling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Paul Torday, talks about the inspiration behind his latest novel, Light Shining in the Forest.

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An eBook exclusive from Paul Torday

Next Thursday 8 December sees the publication of Breakfast at the Hotel Deja Vu by Paul Torday. This exciting new novella is only available as an eBook, for the princely sum of just 99p, and we’re giving you the opportunity to read the opening here on the blog.

‘The view from the window of his hotel room was just as he had hoped it would be. Twenty feet below Bobby’s window was the decking of a sun terrace. Faded white umbrellas sheltered sets of wooden chairs and round tables. He opened the window and leaned out to obtain a better view. He could glimpse the tops of the heads of a few people who were enjoying the afternoon sunshine, or else sitting in the shade reading newspapers. Beyond the decking, wide stone steps led down into a sort of garden: a garden in the Mediterranean manner, of course, with few flowers and a number of bushes and shrubs dotted around an area of scruffy brown grass. A gravel path meandered through this undistinguished space and then disappeared between two tall cypresses. He knew somehow that this path descended to the rocky seashore and then followed its line around the promontory to the headland. There were no other buildings in sight, just an uninterrupted view of the blue sea…

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An exclusive short story by Paul Torday

In this short story, published exclusively on our blog, we meet John Gaunt who features in Paul’s recent novel, More Than You Can Say, out now in Phoenix paperback.


The eyes have it.

That’s when you know. You look at them and you decide what effect those eyes would have on a punter a week behind with his loan repayments. If I find the eyes scary, the punters will be ten times – twenty times – more scared than me …

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