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Shortlisted for the 2013 RSL Ondaatje Prize.
A sharp, clever, violent novel spanning the transition of South Africa from apartheid through Truth and Reconciliation to the present as seen by three characters living in those traumatic times. Pacey, it grips attention as it juggles time and person, old and new country and left me deeply saddened by the descriptions of South Africa today and the need for so much personal security.
The Lovereading view...
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.
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2012.
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? In the stories she weaves and the truth just below the surface of her shimmering prose, lie Sam's own ghosts.
‘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: 01/03/2013
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Publisher: Atlantic Books
|Publication date:||1st March 2013|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
|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