In the tradition of 1984 and It Can't Happen Here, 2020 is a timely dystopian novel about a country divided, a terrorist attack, and an populist leader who promises he alone is the solution.
In 2020, Britain is at a breaking point. Years of economic turmoil, bitter debates over immigration, anger at the political elites, and fears about the future have created a maelstrom, a dis-United Kingdom, with citizens tempted to find easy answers in demagoguery and isolationism. The country is a bomb waiting to explode. Then it does.
A major terrorist attack targets a sleeper train traveling between Edinburgh and London, leaving a staggering number of dead and wounded. Investigators soon identify the culprits as a radicalized group of young British Muslims. Horrific images from the attack and speculation by the media fan worries about further terrorist acts and the danger of an enemy within. In the aftermath, two far right organizations join to create a new radical group called White Rose, promising to stand up for English values. An unproven leader vows thathe can fix the nation. As the nightmare unfolds, a myriad of voices—from across the social and political spectrum—offer wildly differing perspectives on the chaotic events . . . and unexpectedly reveal modern Britain's soul with 20/20 acuity.
Thoughtful, compassionate, and provocative, Kenneth Steven's 2020 is a parable for our times.
AuthorBy Kenneth Steven
Published7 August 2018
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.
About the author
Kenneth Steven is a poet, novelist, children's book author, and translator whose work has appeared in sixteen languages. He is the translator of the Nordic Prize–winning novel The Half Brother, by Lars Saabye Christensen, also published by Arcade. His BBC Radio 4 documentary on the island of St Kilda won him a Sony Award. He lives in Scotland.
"An important book that should be read by everyone. . . . A gripping and compelling narrative."—Undiscovered Scotland
"Steven's first novel robustly and sensitively explores the debilitating consequences of abuse, violence and the lack of love. It promises even greater things to follow."—Scotland on Sunday
"Some of the things Steven imagines are chillingly plausible, not to say prescient."—Scotsman
"All too credible…Exerts the unsettling fascination of events that could easily come to pass."—The Herald
"Artfully constructed . . . The tension is perfectly pitched.—The List
A poetic voice of great sensitivity."—Alexandaer McCall Smith
"Kenneth has a rare gift of being able to transmute the mundane into the mesmerizing, in a kind of poetic alchemy."—Countryman