Taking as its inspiration Edmund Spenser's epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' but set in a disturbing and increasingly familiar urban underworld, SWEET GUM is the story of Eugene Burnside, a small time drugs dealer with both ambition and, surprisingly, integrity. His odyssey through this seedy world of snooker halls, lap dancing clubs and lock-ups, petty criminals, evil Essex men and embittered, ruthless coppers becomes an allegorical journey of remarkable power and perception: an exploration of the very nature of love.
Jo-Ann Goodwin grew up in Doncaster and studied English at Hull University. She followed this with a Ph.D. on Dickens at York. Now a full-time journalist, she has previously worked for the Labour Party. Jo-Ann is married and lives in North London. Danny Boy was long-listed for the Orange Award and short-listed for the Whitbread Award. Sweet Gum is her second novel.