The Lodgers | Granta

  • Published: 01/02/2024
  • ISBN: 9781783789832
  • Granta Books
  • 224 pages

The Lodgers

Holly Pester

‘What it said to me was that I was here again, I was back, back from the great nowhere of somewhere else, returned, all too officially, to the whereabouts of Moffa.’

After a year away, a woman arrives back in her hometown to keep an eye on her wayward mother, Moffa. Living in a precarious sub-let, she is always on edge, anticipating a visit from the landlord or the arrival of the other resident. But her thoughts also drift back to the rented room she has just left, now occupied by a new lodger she has never met, but whose imagined navigations within the house and home become her fascination.

The minor dramas of temporary living are prised open and ransacked in Holly Pester’s irreverent reckoning with those who house us. This is a story about what it means to live and love within and outside of family structures. It is also a stunning first novel from a writer already hailed as one of the best poets of her generation.

Holly Pester is a genius and The Lodgers gets into everything that matters

Kate Briggs

There is no one better than Holly Pester at communicating the eerie, sometimes hilarious and often hallucinatory experience of modern precarity. This is a novel for the age and for generation rent: a captivating and unforgettable account of how economic circumstance can lead to a feeling of being only half alive

Nathalie Olah

With tang and pith in every sentence, The Lodgers speaks to a generational epidemic of rootlessness and porous selfhood with vital wit and utter originality

AK Blakemore

The Author

Holly Pester is a poet and writer. She has worked in sound art and performance, with BBC Radio, Women’s Art Library and Wellcome Collection.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

Comic Timing, Holly Pester’s extraordinary debut collection of poems, chronicles the experience of living and working as a radical and resistant act. These poems shunt a reader between the political and personal via unique, fragmentary and illusory turns of phrase. Holly tackles marginal bodies, landlords, bog butter, desire, domestic and civic spaces in an unique and illusory voice. She chronicles the prevailing mood of our times, mining radical and anarchic histories to offer a collection of political resistance with both absurdity and seriousness.

These poems interrogate and poke fun at the expectations of people in a commodified culture with a wry humour. Combining a beautifully performed naivety with a profound intellect, this collection is a hugely original approach to a number of pressing issues. Worker’s rights, feminisms, reproductive rights and marginalised bodies and their positions are all through in this startling and innovative voice.

Holly Pester on

Fiction | The Online Edition

People Who Live Here

Holly Pester

‘Another man dithering around six foot two had recently moved in.’

A story by Holly Pester, author of Comic Timing.

Poetry | The Online Edition

Two Poems

Holly Pester

‘Abuse is the conjuring of madness’

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal

Holly Pester

‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’