the painter's friend

'Cunnell’s style is ultimately matchless; intimate, dark, sincere, wry, and exquisitely beautiful... The Painter’s Friend deserves prominence and has earned its place among the best books of the year.'
- Emma Flynn, The Irish Times



Press Release


the painters friend

Advance Praise for 'The Painter's Friend'


'I loved it. Cunnell's writing has an unforgettable visual and moral clarity.'
Melissa Harrison


'What a fine book The Painter's Friend 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'


‘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


'His finest and most important work to date.'
Cathi Unsworth


'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


'Brilliantly plotted and the final act knocked me sideways. Huge themes told through the personal stories of very real people. It was a delight and revelation to read.'
David Morrissey


'Painter Terry Godden, broke, ageing, disappears to an island owned by a rich and corrupt art collector. 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 novel of muscular, dark prose with more than a little compassion for damaged lives. I loved it.'
Ned Boulting