Kinnaird Buildings, a tenement block in Waterloo, was once quality. Now ancient and blackened, it houses a fringe community of the feckless, the light-fingered, the addicted, who ignore the thuds and screams, and try to patch something together out of the rags and tatters of their lives.
At the centre are Judy, resting from emotional entanglements with men, attempting to resist romantic, wayward Jimmy Raffo; and Loretta, fighting poverty and the brutality of her surroundings.
Carol Birch was born in 1951 in Manchester and went to Keele university. She has lived in London, southwest Ireland and Lancaster. In 1991 she won the prestigious Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize with THE FOG LINE.