Graham Swift: Shuttlecock

(3800 words)

Graham Swift's second novel, Shuttlecock (1981), which won the biannual Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award for fiction in 1983, is a psychological thriller which constructs a nightmarish version of late-twentieth-century urban life through the eyes of Prentis, a weak and self-conscious narrator. The plot, which centres on a dark secret with the potential to turn the protagonist's war hero father from a celebrated spy (code name ‘Shuttlecock') into a traitor, allows Swift to examine, through a parent-child conflict, how the myth of heroism survives the brutality inherent in human nature.

The text of the novel is the diary of Prentis, a police investigator of “dead crimes” known only by his last name. Embedded in …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Logotheti, Anastasia. "Shuttlecock". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 August 2004
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]