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Bill Broady


Bill's first novel was SWIMMER (Flamingo), a striking, supple and direct novel.  It tells the story of a girl who, having hidden from the confusions of childhood first in dreams of flying and then by falling in love with water, is subsequently coached to become a successful international athlete.  But when a child has wished for the world - and got it - who or what can help her plot a course through the deeper, darker waters that lie beyond the training pool, out there in real life?  Lyrical, moving, perfectly achieved, SWIMMER is a staggering debut.


A volume of short stories followed:IN THIS BLOCK THERE LIVES A SLAG (Flamingo).  From the council blocks of Bradford to dingy moorland pubs with forty-year-old hits on the jukebox, Broady's bright vollection of stories tours Yorkshire and gives it a tart lick of fresh prose paint, deploying all the precision, wit and vigour to be expected of this highly-acclaimed author.


Broady’s second novel, ETERNITY IS TEMPORARY was published by Portobello in 2006


Bill has written a third novel, THE NIGHT-SOIL MEN, a major work of historical and political fiction about the birth of the Independent Labour Party.


His fourth novel is entitled BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN THINGS USED TO HAPPEN. 

This novel, with its deceptively slight narrative, is an unflinching examination of life’s dreams, distractions, disappointments and diversions, with a stinging kick to its climax.  By turns melancholic, moving, shocking and laugh-out-loud funny, it is as taut and compelling as any thriller, but brimful of compassion and strangeness.

 Told in the first person by a narrator, whose name we later learn happens to be William, ‘Back in the Days When Things Used to Happen’ is a story of growing up in Yorkshire in the closing decades of the last century, a time of ambitions limited, of getting by rather than getting on.  Our hero has fled London for his native Bradford where he works in a hostel for teenage girls.  His life is untroubled by commitment as he drifts through the days, until an encounter with the brusque but fascinating Tricia develops into a relationship which propels him on a pilgrimage into his past and the revelation of the evil yet banal secrets of his childhood.

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