Quinlivan, Davina


‘Shalimar’ is a conjured place, but it is also an inheritance. A blend of nature-writing, magical realism and memoir, it is an incantation, but also a ship carrying a family safe inside, a sorrow-song and a fever dream. This book tells the story of Quinlivan’s Anglo-Asian family whose extraordinary mythology haunts her own sense of time and place over the course of ten years and seven house moves through England, finally settling in rural Devon with a young family of her own. Quinlivan’s story takes on an Odyssean cadence as she meets her grandmother in the form of a teak tree in Ireland, trespasses through a replica of Virgil’s Tomb in a Lutyens garden in Surrey and comes face to face with the Green Man beneath ancient oaks in Hampshire. This book is sure to make its home in the heart of anyone who has ever moved, or migrated, however major or minor in scale.

Out of stock

Publish Date: 15/04/2022
ISBN: 9781908213907 Category: Tag:


In her mid-twenties, shortly before her father’s death, Davina Quinlivan moved from her family home in west London to begin a transitory life in the countryside: here she felt restless and rootless, stuck between Deep England and the technicolour memories of her family’s migration story. Beginning in colonial India and Burma, from the indigenous tribes from which the women in Quinlivan’s family are descended, and reaching the streets of Southall and Ealing, the stories of her ancestors persisted in the tales, the language, the cooking and culture of her family. Quinlivan conjures a place between continents and worlds in a lyrical debut of migration, and homecoming, marking the arrival of an exceptional new voice.

Additional information

Weight 418 g
Dimensions 229 × 152 × 24 mm










828.9207 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K