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selected by Jackie Kay as one of the Best Books of 2021 in The Guardian

‘There’s no writer quite like Neil Bartlett. In this tender, evocative and sometimes arousing book he somehow conveys the shifting colours and textures of the English language—and queer vernacular in particular—as it changes over the years. He is nothing less than an alchemist with words.’  



‘Address Book is completely absorbing; tender, enchanting and a mesmeric read from cover to cover. Neil’s skill as a story-teller is unsurpassed. This book is something else. I adored it.’



‘The rooms where we live out troubled, anxious lives are slovenly or crazy-clean, are as spacious as our desires and as cramped as our frustrations. As a man of the theatre, Neil Bartlett knows how to fill a bedsit with love or malice, how to elevate a neighbour boy into a military saint, how to find in a dirty mattress a platform for redeeming passion. He is an all-seeing wizard.’


‘Gay love and desire, past and present, has never been so beautifully articulated as in Neil Bartlett’s Address Book. He takes us into the homes and minds of a handful of strangers and then—in prose full of gentle foreboding—slowly peels away the layers until their truths are revealed. Defiant, potent—

and ultimately uplifting.’


‘Neil Bartlett is a peerless chronicler of queer lives lived— past and present. Address Book is peopled with lovers, battlers, ghosts, penitents, adventurers, and optimists. We’re lucky to have this book.'


‘Bartlett is a pioneer on and off the page and we are lucky to have him telling our stories’ DAMIAN BARR

Address Book is the new work of fiction by the Costa-shortlisted author of Skin Lane. Neil Bartlett’s cycle of stories takes us to seven very different times and situations: from a new millennium civil partnership celebration to erotic obsession in a Victorian tenement, from a council-flat bedroom at the height of the AIDS crisis to a doctor’s living-room in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, they lead us through decades of change to discover hope in the strangest of places.


Neil says, ‘Every place I’ve ever slept in, I’ve always wondered about what went on at

that address before I moved in. To write this book, I went back to some significant

places in my own life and let the walls talk to me. The result of that listening is this

new cycle of stories.’

Editor Nathan Evans says, ‘I’ve loved Neil’s writing since finding his first book in the university library, so to publish his latest is something of a dream for me. Inkandescent are proud to be working with such an important queer writer with so much to say about where we are and how we got here.’

‘Neil Bartlett writes beautifully about hope and belonging—and this new book from him is something to really look forward to.’



‘Neil Bartlett’s astonishing novels have always seemed content to stand on the edge of the party, like the elegant gay uncle content to entertain and startle any who approach. With Address Book he sheds his jacket to get on down. This is a cleverly structured, funny then deeply moving novel about connections, sympathy and the traces left by our lives and loves. This is a novel for anyone who has ever mourned in silence, a book for anyone who has wondered about that well-dressed man next door but one.’



‘A wise, warm, elegant and sexy book, huge-hearted and beautiful.’



‘Neil’s delicacy and eye for the absurd, his compassion and seeing of the unseen, his championing of the vulnerable and his great lust for life, and his matchless prose, make Neil Bartlett the consummate storyteller.  I am always thrilled when he has a new novel out and Address Book is beautiful.’



‘Passion + place + precision = glorious storytelling in Bartlett’s wonderful set of interconnected stories of desire and longing.’


‘Neil Bartlett is a national treasure. I read everything he writes and am always lifted by his skill, humour, political purpose and elegance.’


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