the painter's friend
A cracking, urgent page-turner of a novel...I admire the way Cunnell writes working-class
characters with such empathy and complexity. I've always felt that we're scared to write
about working-class issues, not just in theatre but in films, TV, everywhere. This book does it
Roy Williams for The Observer
What a fine book this is. At times, a beautiful meditation, at other times the prose ripples with tension and foreboding. Howard Cunnell is a wonderful writer who should be read by everyone.
Sarah Winman, author of Still Life
Olivia Laing, author of Everybody
Cunnell's writing has an unforgettable visual and moral clarity.
Melissa Harrison, author of All Among the Barley
Cunnell's prose is elegantly punchy in his novel about a working class artist . . . The valour of his fight is revealed in a story of what can happen when truth is considered idealism and
collides with the predatory designs of a property developer. A fine book.
John Healy, author of The Grass Arena
Loving in its exploration of creative survival and loss of human habitat. Every fleck and dab of verbal pigment rewards the eye and enriches the design.
Adam Mars-Jones, author of Box Hill
Beautifully written in painterly prose, this is an intense, moving meditation on the role of art
in our increasingly profit-focused society.
His finest and most important work to date.
Cathi Unsworth, author of Weirdo
Beautifully written by Howard Cunnell, and punchy as a piece of crime noir, The Painter's
Friend is an addictive journey of exterior and interior discovery, both enriching and
frighteningly shocking. Terrific.
Chris Salewicz, author of Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography
[A] powerful new novel...Cunnell's writing is sharp and vivid, the highly coloured verbal pictures perfectly suited to an artist narrator.