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Episode Two

By Sarah Perry. Helen learns the strange story of Melmoth after reading the manuscript which made her friend anxious and uneasy. But is Melmoth just a fairy tale?

A contemporary novel set in Prague, inspired by an original Gothic story and written by Sarah Perry.

Melmoth the Witness is a terrifying and yet moving creation who repels and attracts our sympathies simultaneously. The novel explores some of humanity’s darkest actions, asks us to consider our deepest secrets and conveys the importance of bearing witness to unspeakable events. At the same time, it's also a novel of redemption, of the possibility of forgiveness, hope and reconciliation, and the healing power of love.

Episode 2:
Helen returns to the lodgings she shares with her eccentric Czech landlady. She learns the strange story of Melmoth after reading the manuscript which made her friend anxious and uneasy. But is Melmoth just a fairy tale?

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has been the writer in residence at Gladstone's Library and the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague. After Me Comes the Flood, her first novel, was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent - also a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime - was Waterstone's Book of the Year in 2016 and the British Book Awards Book of the Year in 2017. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Greta Scacchi and Anton Lesser
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4

14 minutes

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