“It is December 22nd, a foot of snow has fallen, and Paul is heading out for a small coastal resort on his son Euan’s sixth birthday.  Shall I tell you a story? he says and recalls the boy’s birth, his first words and steps, all the stuff of forgetting, of any boy’s life…

“But nothing, Paul has decided, should ever be lost or discarded or buried, as it was in his own childhood.  And so he confides the history of his relationship with Ruth, Euan’s mother; the death of his own mother when he himself was a boy; and his father’s refusal ever to explain what occurred.  It soon becomes evident, however, that Euan is not in the car. Evident, too, that Paul is living alone, and that in the cliffs and dunes of the seaside resort lies the key to his story’s conclusion.”

Crustaceans was the recipient of bursaries from the Authors' Foundation and the Eastern Arts Board.

‘This spare yet beautiful novel is an intense meditation on isolation and the fragility of love... The emotional fluency of Cowan’s writing is compelling... Crustaceans is so well crafted that the catharsis of the well-rounded ending made this reviewer cry’  - Jeremy Worman, The Observer

‘Crustaceans is a bleakly beautiful novel... riveting... Cowan conveys the experience of loss with an extraordinary, aching precision’  - Alan Mahar, The Literary Review 

‘a haunting and heartbreaking meditation on the permeating power and permanence of loss... beautifully compact writing’  - Trevor Lewis, The Sunday Times

‘Cowan is something of a pioneer in writing detailed, domestic novels of early fatherhood.  Take a look at his masterpiece, Crustaceans, which is an utterly heartbreaking, beautifully restrained novel about the loss of a child' - Bethan Roberts, The Guardian

'Crustaceans is quiet, touching and intelligent, and moves to its conclusion with grace even amid despair’ - James Robertson, Scotland on Sunday

‘This is a quiet and graceful novel which portrays grief with a sensitivity and lack of sentimentality that will communicate to even the most emotionless reader’ - Philippa Boston, Daily Mail

‘Andrew Cowan tackles the big subjects of love and loss.… The book begins and ends in wintry east-coast light but keeps alive the hope of human contact and warmth’  - Time Out

‘a superb novel’ - Peter Hannam, Eastern Daily Press

‘Cowan won no fewer than six awards for his first novel, and this profoundly moving account... will surely enhance his reputation much further’  - Graeme Woolaston, The Herald

‘As powerful as it is understated... [Cowan] is clearly a skilled and serious writer, and Crustaceans is an impressive demonstration of his understated mastery of the craft’  - Christopher Tayler, The Sunday Telegraph

‘Subtly written and superbly crafted... Cowan has excelled himself with this brilliant and poignant book which will be devoured by anyone who has ever lost a loved one themselves’  - Lucy McDonald, Sunday Express

‘Cowan’s success in delivering a fully realised imaginative experience marks him out as a serious writer’  - Sara Hudston, The Times Literary Supplement  

‘Crustaceans is beautifully written’  - Nina Mehta, Newsday

‘Cowan’s talent as a writer allows him to inhabit Paul’s consciousness to a chilling degree.... [an] exquisitely told tale of love and loss’  - Philip Herter, Boston Herald