Scudamore, James 1976-

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Scudamore, James 1976-

PERSONAL: Education: University of Oxford, B.A. (with honors); University of East Anglia, M.A.

CAREER: Freelance writer, 2006—. Worked in advertising for four years.

AWARDS, HONORS: Costa First Novel Award (shortlist), 2006, for The Amnesia Clinic.

WRITINGS

The Amnesia Clinic (novel), Harvill Secker (London, England), 2006, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS: James Scudamore’s debut novel The Amnesia Clinic traces the journey of two fifteen-year-old boys, Fabian, scion of an ancient Quito family, and Anti, a British schoolboy, through Anti’s last days in Ecuador before he is to return to England to continue his education. The two live a rich fantasy life, played out as “a game filled with shrunken heads, buried treasure and imagined seductions,” according to Sam Alexandroni in the New Statesman. Fabian, having lost both his parents in a fatal car crash, is obsessed with the idea that his mother, whose body was never recovered, might still survive somewhere— perhaps as a patient in an amnesia clinic (an institution invented by Anti). “Scudamore,” declared a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, “admirably portrays the braggadocio, sexual fantasies and obsessions of 15-year-old boys.” The novel takes a darker turn as Fabian sinks deeper into his fantasy that his mother is alive somewhere in the hills of Ecuador. Eventually the conflict between their fantasies and reality bring the two boys into conflict with each another. Laurence Phelan, writing for the Independent on Sunday called The Amnesia Clinic“an exuberant first novel,” adding that “Scudamore has fun blurring the edges of truth and fiction, creating fantastic and colourful stories within stories.” In a review for Time Out London, Katie Dailey described the book as “a nostalgic, compelling adventure laced with black humour.”

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), April 29, 2006, review of The Amnesia Clinic, p. 8.

Independent on Sunday (London, England), May 7, 2006, Laurence Phelan, review of The Amnesia Clinic.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of The Amnesia Clinic, p. 872.

Literary Review, June, 2006, “A Choice of First Novels,” p. 57.

New Statesman, May 29, 2006, Sam Alexandroni, “American Dreams,” p. 57.

Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2006, review of The Amnesia Clinic, p. 33.

Scotsman, August 12, 2006, review of The Amnesia Clinic.

Sunday Telegraph (London, England), June 11, 2006, review of The Amnesia Clinic, p. 55.

Time Out London, May 10, 2006, review of The Amnesia Clinic.