In the Place of Fallen Leaves

In the Place of Fallen Leaves is Tim Pears' debut novel, published in 1993. It won the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award in 1993[2] and the Hawthornden Prize in 1994.[3]

In the Place of Fallen Leaves
First edition
AuthorTim Pears
Cover artistEmma Parker[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherHamish Hamilton (UK)
Donald I Fine (US)
Publication date
1993 (UK), 1995 (US)
Media typePrint


On his website, Tim Pears reveals that the novel is set in the Devon village where he grew up (Trusham[4] on the edge of Dartmoor) He had written many 'appalling' poems in his twenties then adapted one into a story; this liberated him and he never wrote another poem; just stories which eventually became this, his first novel. He cites his other influences as Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Marc Chagall’s paintings of the Russian Pale, Mikhail Sholokhov’s tales of Don Cossacks, and New Zealander Vincent Ward’s film Vigil.[5]

Plot introductionEdit

It is set in the long, hot summer of 1984 in an isolated Devon village on the edge of Dartmoor where thirteen-year-old Alison is growing up, the youngest member of a farming family. The story covers scenes from Alison's own life as well as those of her neighbours, siblings, parents and grandparents.


  • "By turns elegiac, moving and extremely funny, Pears is also unafraid to muscle up his formidable powers of Proustian evocation. An extraordinarily promising debut" - Time Out
  • "Reminiscent of Faulkner and Garcia Marquez, the writing retains a very English scale ... A triumph ... Sensitive, heart-warming and hallucunatory." - Financial Times
  • "In the Place of Fallen Leaves is more perfect than any first novel deserves to be." - The Observer


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Ruskin / Staff / Tim Pears". Retrieved 2011-09-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Tim Pears". Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2011-09-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-01-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^

External linksEdit

Official website