Family life. Reputation. They took a lifetime to build and a second to wreck.


Harvill Secker, 2020
Alfred A. Knopf, August 2020

Eve Laing, once the muse of an infamous painter, is now — forty years later — an artist herself. But she has sacrificed her career for her family and she resents the global success of her old college roommate, a celebrity of the conceptual art scene. When Eve embarks on her most ambitious work yet, she takes a wrecking ball to her comfortable life, jettisoning her marriage for a beautiful young lover, a drifter half her age, who seems to share her single-minded creative vision.

Nightshade charts Eve’s nocturnal walk through London, from her former family home in the west of the city back to her studio, a converted factory in the east, where her recently completed masterpiece hangs and a fatal reckoning awaits.

This brilliant and timely novel explores sexual politics and the excesses of the contemporary art world, asking if the true artist must relinquish the ordinary human need for love and connection. Can the creative urge be the most destructive — even deadliest — impulse of all?

Available now from Harvill Secker and in August 2020 from Alfred A. Knopf, and Knopf Canada

Reviews & Blurbs

27 March 2020 - ''A Biting Portrait of the Artist as a "Difficult" Woman' — Harriet Fitch Little, Financial Times

21 March 2020 - 'Portrait of the Artist as a Troubled Woman' - Joanna Briscoe - The Guardian

Interviews and Profiles

29 March 2020 - 'Annalena McAfee on How She and Ian McEwan Work from Home' - The Telegraph

15 March 2020 - 'Interview: Annalena McAfee: "I enjoyed writing this really rather unpleasant character"' - Alex Preston - The Observer

Nightshade by Annalena McAfee

Nightshade by Annalena McAfee