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What Ends
Andrew Ladd

AWP Award for the Novel

New Issues Poetry & Prose
2014 • 265 pp. 5 x 8"
Literary Fiction

$26.00 Hardcover, 978-1-936970-22-3

“Running parallel to our overcrowded, technologically saturated present is a yearning for a peace and remoteness which can only be resolved through voluntary removal from... [continued in Reviews below]”—Catherine Taylor, The Telegraph

In 1980 the McCloud family welcomes Trevor, their third child and the last to be born on Eilean Fior, a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Life there, on the eve of Trevor's birth, is grim: the population, once in the hundreds, now hovers around thirty; his parents stubbornly maintain the family business, a guesthouse, despite their increasing trouble turning a profit; and a plague of rats threatens to wipe out the island's last remaining hopes. Against this backdrop, and through a series of interlocking narratives spanning from Trevor's birth to the present day, What Ends follows each of the McClouds as they navigate their ever-more fragile lives.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Running parallel to our overcrowded, technologically saturated present is a yearning for a peace and remoteness which can only be resolved through voluntary removal from society. Many self-sufficient Scottish island communities flourish in this way and have done for several hundred years – but their survival cannot be guaranteed.

Andrew Ladd’s impressive first novel acknowledges this by referencing the well-documented decline of St Kilda, whose last inhabitants left in 1930. Its ghostly presence hovers over his actual location: a small, fictitious Hebridean island, and the 20-year saga of one of its few remaining families, the McClouds.

It is October 1980 on Eilean For and a baby is born. Despite the date, the setting could be the Fifties: Trevor McCloud is delivered at home with an amateur midwife in attendance while his father and the male doctor share a dram of whisky in the parlour. Trevor will be the last child born on the island.”—Catherine Taylor,
The Telegraph

“This remarkable, haunting novel tells the story of the McCloud family and their life on Eilean Fior, a very small island off the northwest coast of Scotland. The clarity of Andrew Ladd’s prose is as deceptive as the clues to the cryptic crossword puzzles George McCloud, the family patriarch, is obsessed with solving. The book’s true subject is time, the island not only a place but also the uncanny, enclosing moment. In What Ends "time isn’t passing, it’s circling," and the story of one family’s life on a Hebridean island becomes an apocalyptic vision of what it means to live in time, that 'blink of stone on a giant sea.'”—Kathryn Davis


Winner of the AWP Award for the Novel

ANDREW LADD'S debut novel, What Ends, won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Prize in the Novel, and his shorter work has appeared in Apalachee Review, CICADA, Graze, Memoir Journal, Yemassee, and The Rumpus, among others. He grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has since lived in Boston, Montreal, and New York; currently he lives in London with his wife.

Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:23:01 -0500