The Storyteller

Published June 2016



‘A strange, compelling work… A considerable achievement.’  Craig Raine


‘Shall we start again?’

A young woman regains consciousness. An elegant old lady degenerates into flailing madness. A beggar counts small change on Westminster Bridge. Hot summer afternoons transform into autumn and winter days and back to summer again.

At first, Iris and Rachel are linked only by their illness, but as they heal they grow closer, and soon they are enmeshed in a relationship neither can escape. When Iris insists on writing Rachel’s biography the younger woman is unable to resist; but is her life being reported or created by her self-appointed storyteller?

With a claustrophobic intensity of vision, The Storyteller is a challenging, beautifully written novel of disconnect, insanity and reawakening.



Kate Armstrong was born in 1979 and grew up in the North of England. She studied English Literature at Oxford University, first at New College and then at Merton, where she wrote her DPhil on John Donne. She also held a lectureship at St Hugh’s. Kate then followed a career in international business, writing her first novel, The Storyteller, on trains and flights and in hotel rooms. She is currently working more comfortably on her second.

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