Thirty-something Morris Gutman is a chronically indecisive temporary lecturer at the University of Coketown. Life hasn't turned out as he planned: he has a demanding wife, an insomniac child and teaches demeaning courses to ungrateful English students. However, he is willing to do whatever it takes to negotiate a permanent departmental job, even if it means finding his way through the minefield that is academia and winning over the alluring and manipulative research fellow Zoe Cable.
Ian McGuire grew up near Hull and studied at the University of Manchester and the University of Virginia, USA. He is a founder and co-director of the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing. His stories have been published in the Chicago Review, Paris Review and elsewhere. He is the author of Incredible Bodies (2006) and, most recently, the acclaimed The North Water.