One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012.
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2012.
This is a very confident debut novel that manages to be literary yet a page-turner at the same time. The author has said that he is influenced by the award winning writer and anyone who has read Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin will find echoes of it in his complex interwoven plot and themes of confronting your past. Interestingly, however, Flanery has said he didn’t read The Blind Assassin until a few months after finishing Absolution. Anecdotes aside this story, set in South Africa, of two novelists sharing a past and one writing the biography of the other is compelling and captivating.
March 2012 Debut of the Month.
FROM ARTICLE IN GUARDIAN 26TH NOV 2012. AUTHOR FAVOURITES OF 2012:
A S Byatt - 'Patrick Flanery's Absolution (Atlantic) is a wonderfully constructed and gripping novel about betrayal and shadows in South Africa.'
In her garden, ensconced in the lush vegetation of the Western Cape, Clare Wald, world-renowned author, mother, critic, takes up her pen and confronts her life. Sam Leroux has returned to South Africa to embark upon a project that will establish his reputation - he is to write Clare's biography. But how honest is she prepared to be? Was she complicit in crimes lurking in South Africa's past; is she an accomplice or a victim? Are her crimes against her family real or imagined? As Sam and Clare turn over the events of her life, she begins to seek reconciliation, absolution. But in the stories she weaves and the truth just below the surface of her shimmering prose, lie Sam's own ghosts. Absolution shines light on contemporary South Africa and the long dark shadow of Apartheid, the elusive nature of truth and self-perception and the mysterious alchemy of the creative process. It is a debut of extraordinary strength and power.
Closing date: 07/09/2018
‘One rarely encounters such a confident first novel as Absolution. Patrick Flanery arrives on the scene wholly formed: a writer of superb self—confidence, depth of insight, and resolute clarity. Clare Wald, who occupies the white-hot centre of this story, will stay with me.’ Jay Parini, author of The Last Station
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Publisher: Atlantic Books
|Publication date:||1st March 2012|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Patrick Flanery was born in California in 1975 and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After earning a BFA in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts he worked for three years in the film industry before moving to the UK, where he completed a doctorate in Twentieth-Century English Literature at the University of Oxford. As well as publishing scholarly articles on British and South African literature and film in a number of academic journals, he has written for Slightly Foxed and The Times Literary Supplement. He lives in London. Author photo © Andrew van der VlieMore About Patrick Flanery