CS Richardson
The End of the Alphabet


The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson“On or about his fiftieth birthday, Ambrose Zephyr failed his medical exam. An illness of inexplicable origin with neither known nor foreseeable cure was discovered. It would kill him within the month. Give or take a day.”
—from The End of the Alphabet  

Leaving his home in London behind, Ambrose and his beloved wife Zipper embark on a whirlwind, A to Z tour of places and things—far-flung and close to home—that they have loved or had longed to one day see. Stylish, witty, joyous, and moving, The End of the Alphabet explores the passion and affection of a life—and a marriage—in its final moments, and asks the reader: given the time remaining, would you, do you, love this much?  The End of the Alphabet recalls such gem-like novels as Damage, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, and Silk.

Praise for CS Richardson’s The End of the Alphabet:

International Bestseller
Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book (Canada | Caribbean)
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award Finalist

A Booksense 75 selection

“An elegant fable, charmingly written, and a tender, grateful paean to time, love and literature.” —Guardian

“A dazzling exercise in understatement that centers on a seemingly grim topic ... Richardson offers a compelling look at an enviable marriage—one that just happens to be coming to an end.” —People magazine

“A gem of a book....[Richardson] writes with such visual and emotional density that the end of one reading readily becomes the start of another.” —The Globe & Mail

“In sparse, delicately exotic prose, CS Richardson constructs a rare and lovely ode to little things: to the beauty of half-spoken sentences and the very best intentions.” —Observer (UK)

The End of the Alphabet is a stunning accomplishment. To say so much in so few words is breathtaking. If Alphabet doesn’t become the next Tuesdays with Morrie, there’s something wrong with the world.  And of course, it’s nothing like Tuesdays - because it’s so much more.  I plan on telling my customers to give it to the one they love; someone who has lost, or is losing, someone; and anyone who needs to hope, who needs to cry, or who needs to really dream.  I see this becoming a book that everyone will want to share with a friend after reading. Of course, all the book clubs should read it, but really, The End of the Alphabet should be in the hands of every chaplain, marriage counsellor, hospice worker and funeral director in the country. It’s that powerful.” —Keri Holmes, US bookstore owner (The Kaleidoscope)

“An alphabet of the language of lovers, a beautiful fable of art and mortality: elegant, wise and humane. I like to think of the happiness this book will bring. I’m sure it will be given as a gift between lovers, and will inspire many journeys – geographical and emotional.” —Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary

“Nothing less than gorgeous, a short and intense novel structured around the beautiful cul de sac of the alphabet itself....The story is irresistible....Evocative and unforgettable, it manages to arouse both a longing for travel and a longing for home.” —Calgary Herald

“A novel that can be read in a single setting of less than two hours might continue to resonate with readers for weeks, months, even years.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“What would you do if you only had 30 days to live? Ambrose Zephyr takes his wife Zipper, on a beautifully written alphabetical journey, at the same time taking us on a loving adventure that is both humorous and intense. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I can’t get it out of my head.” —Mary McHale, Fox Tate Books (New Durham, NH)


Length: 152 pages
Setting: Europe
Period: contemporary

Brazilian Portuguese rights, Editora Mercuryo
Canadian English rights, Doubleday Canada
Canadian French rights, Editions Alto
Catalan rights, Columna
Chinese (simplified) rights, Shanghai Translation Publishing House
Dutch rights, Arena (reverted)
French rights, Editions du Panama (reverted)
German rights, Piper Verlag
German audio rights, Hoerbuch Hamburg
Italian rights, Garzanti
Japanese rights, Hayakawa
Portuguese rights, Presenca
Spanish rights, Lumen
UK rights, Portobello
US rights, Broadway/Doubleday

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

CS Richardson
Phot Credit: Curtis Lantinga
  CS Richardson’s first novel, The End of the Alphabet, was an international bestseller published in thirteen countries and ten languages. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada & the Caribbean), it was named on four Best of the Year lists and was adapted for radio drama by BBC Radio 4. Richardson is also an accomplished and award-winning book designer. He lives and works in Toronto.

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