Beast, which makes up the second part of the thematic trilogy which began with his highly acclaimed first novel The Wake, will be out in paperback on 6th July.
Published through the crowd-funding publisher Unbound, The Wake is the first in a trilogy set in 11th-century England and is a chronicle of the aftermath of the 1066 Battle of Hastings and the early days of the Norman occupation.
The novel has been a huge success and was longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize; shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and won the Gordon Burn Prize. The film rights have been sold to a consortium headed by the actor Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall). Rylance was one of the original 400 subscribers whose pledges enabled the novel to be published by Unbound after it was rejected by traditional publishers. He will play the central character, Buccmaster of Holland, in the film to be made by Shakespeare Road, the company he founded with his wife Claire van Campen.
Paul was born in 1972, and was educated at RGS. In the early 1990s, he went on to study history at St. Anne’s, Oxford. While he was there, he became involved in the road protest movement, and through that in green politics and activism, which determined the course of his life for many years afterwards.
After graduating, Paul worked for a year on the staff of the Independent newspaper, which he hated. Following a three year stint as a campaign writer for an environmental NGO, he was appointed deputy editor of The Ecologist.
He left the Ecologist in 2001 to write his first book One No, Many Yeses, a political travelogue which explored the growing anti-capitalist movement around the world. The book was published in 2003 by Simon and Schuster, in six languages across 13 countries.
In the early 2000s, having spent time with the tribal people of West Papua, who continue to be brutally colonised by the Indonesian government and military, he was one of the founders of the Free West Papua Campaign, which he also helped to run for a time. Paul was made an honorary member of the Lani tribe in Papua for his work there.
Paul’s second book, Real England, was published in 2008 by Portobello. An exploration of the changing face of his home country in an age of globalisation, the book was quoted in speeches by the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury and saw its author compared to Cobbett and Orwell by more than one newspaper, which he enjoyed.