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Pig Iron

UK Publisher: Bloomsbury


An unflinching portrait of contemporary Traveller culture by the award-winning author of The Gallows Pole

John-John wants to escape his past. But the legacy of brutality left by his boxer father, King of the Gypsies, Mac Wisdom, overshadows his life. His new job as an ice cream man should offer freedom, but instead pulls him into the dark recesses of a northern town where his family name is mud. When he attempts to trade prejudice and parole officers for the solace of the rural landscape, Mac’s bloody downfall threatens John-John’s very survival.


Pig Iron is an important book because it tells a story that has shaped all contemporary Western humans, but is routinely, inexplicably overlooked – the great move from agricultural life to industrial life.” – Judge Deborah Orr, the Gordon Burn Prize 2013

“Benjamin Myers’ influences are clear — David Peace’s northern brutalism is evident and there are suggestions of Salinger and Golding but Pig Iron’s savage vision is his alone.” – The Morning Star

“His poetic vernacular brims with that quality most sadly lost – humanity.” The Guardian

“One of my best reads this year…it’s a deeply rural story, a book full of passion for the English countryside and centred on the conflict between the travelling and the settled community.– Melvin Burgess

Benjamin Myers is an award-winning author and journalist whose work has been translated into many languages. His most recent novel, Cuddy, won...