Sacred Country

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Sacred Country
First edition (UK)
Author Rose Tremain
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Sinclair Stevenson (UK)
Scribner (US)
Publication date
1992 (UK), 1993 (US)
Media type Print, audio & eBook
Pages 320
ISBN 1-85619-118-4

Sacred Country is a novel by English author Rose Tremain, it was published in 1992 by Sinclair Stevenson[1] and won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize[2] and Prix Femina Etranger.[3] It has been compared to Virginia Woolf's Orlando.[4]

Plot introduction[edit]

"At the age of six, Mary Ward, the child of a poor farming family in Suffolk, has a revelation: she isn't Mary, she's a boy. So begins Mary's heroic struggle to change gender, while around her others also strive to find a place of safety and fulfilment in a savage and confusing world".[5]


Positive review extracts on the back cover of the 2002 Vintage edition :

  • "Hypnotic...Curiously beautiful and strikingly original" - Spectator
  • "Brilliant...A strong, complex, unsentimental novel" - Times Literary Supplement
  • "Rose Tremain writes comedy that can break your heart...Funny absorbing and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year" - Literary Review

Stephen Dobyns writes for the New York Times, "a book that makes us feel good about the state of fiction in an uncertain market"[6]

Novelist Lynne Freed observes "The writing... is sheer delight. It is skilled, intelligent storytelling at its best".[7]

Film adaptation[edit]

Filmmaker Jan Dunn has acquired the film rights to the novel and is adapting the screenplay.[8] Other sources state that Tremain herself is adapting it in three parts for television.[9]


  1. ^ Fantastic Fiction
  2. ^ Previous winners - fiction | James Tait Black Prize winners | People
  3. ^,prix-femina-roman-etranger.html Prix Femina - Roman Etranger
  4. ^ Sacred Country | Book by Rose Tremain - Simon & Schuster
  5. ^ Back cover of 2002 Vintage edition
  6. ^ Muddling Through, Date: April 11, 1993, Sunday, Late Edition - Final
  7. ^ The Best Novels of the Nineties by Linda Parent Lesher, page 249, ISBN 0786407425
  8. ^ Jan Dunn | United Agents
  9. ^ Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

External links[edit]