The title of Gerard Woodward’s 2004 shortlisted novel comes from King Lear: ‘And I'll go to bed at noon’ are the last words spoken by the Fool. This novel, too, is a tale of family dysfunction.

Woodward came to writing - fiction, poetry and short stories - after first training as an artist and anthropologist. His shortlisted novel, set in the 1970s, is the second part of a trilogy dealing with the division-ridden Jones family who live in a genteel part of north London. In the way that pets are said to resemble their owners, here it is the house that becomes another member of the family. The book employs a variety of stylistic curiosities to pique the reader’s interest further in its accounts of alcoholic disintegration – including facsimiles of letters, Gothic chapter introductions and upside-down text.

Gerard Woodward

All nominated books

I'll Go to Bed at Noon