Luminously written, and snaking with intrigue as it traverses timeframes, this unique story sees a writer set out to create the ultimate novel.
Clever, compelling and kaleidoscopic, Chris Beckett’s multi-time-framed Tomorrow explores the elusiveness of finding meaning and fulfilment, though it defies reduction to a simple “this story is about...” description.
Focussed on a novelist, the novel shifts in time and settings, from middle-class discussions of social justice in the city, to their retreat to a remote riverside Eden to write “the real book”. The hope this will happen is “the only handle I have on being me,” the writer confesses. After authoring several novels and a successful memoir about their experience of being held captive by revolutionaries, they dread the thought of returning to the city not having done so, though a friend worries they’re “chasing a mirage”. Another of the novel’s themes is how we construct barriers to implementing our long-held plans so we never try, and therefore never fail.
The narrative skips to the writer’s period in captivity, and to a perilous journey of escape through a jungle dripping with dangerous, outlandish creatures and plants, with plenty of wry musings on literature along the way, such as the “distinction between stories that make you feel more alive and stories that just pass the time by tapping, like a fruit machine does, into your infantile need for resolution.” Thought-provoking, and slotting together like a brilliantly devised puzzle, Tomorrow falls firmly into the former camp.
The fascinating new novel from Chris Beckett, the Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author.
'Tomorrow I'm going to begin my novel...'
A would-be author has taken time out from life in the city to live in a cabin by a river and write a novel.
And not just any novel. A novel that will avoid all the pitfalls and limitations of other novels, a novel that will include everything.
At first these new surroundings are so idyllic that it's hard to find the motivation to get started. And then, in all its brutality, the outside world intervenes...
Ranging constantly backwards and forwards in time and space, Tomorrow becomes a restless search for meaning in a precarious and elusive world.
|Publication date:||1st July 2021|
|Publisher:||Corvus an imprint of Atlantic Books|
|Primary Genre||Literary Fiction|
Closing date: 30/05/2022
Brilliantly and chillingly imagined - Guardian on Two Tribes
Captivating and haunting - Daily Mail on Dark Eden
Chris Beckett is a former social worker and now university lecturer who lives in Cambridge. Beckett has written over 20 short stories, many of them originally published in Interzone and Asimov's. In 2009 he won the Edge Hill Short Story competition for his collection of stories, The Turing Test.More About Chris Beckett