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The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier


The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

Something strange is going on. All over the world, pain is manifesting itself as light. Cuts and bruises blaze and flash. Arthritic joints glow. Injured troops emit radiant white shards into the desert night. On the news, they're calling it 'The Illumination'. As this breathtaking phenomenon takes holds, a private journal of love notes passes into the keeping of Carol Ann Page, a lonely hospital patient, and from there through the hands of five other people. Each of them will find their lives changed forever over a story which spans decades and continents, a story that shines a spectacular light on the wounds we all bear...

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The most exciting and, in some ways, generous piece of fiction I've read in some time... I relish the way it dazzles and mystifies. I love its generosity of spirit, its whiff of frailty - the way the whole thing seems steeped in light -- Julie Myerson * Observer * Stunning... sublime... One of the most profound and profoundly moving books that it's been my privilege to read -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday * His vision is genuinely original...the brilliance of his premise rebounds throughout the novel, catching unexpected angles, radiating metaphor and meaning, and providing us with a new way of thinking about suffering - which must be one of the most important things any novelist can do -- Edmund Gordon * Sunday Times * After a while the book itself seems to glow... Brockmeier, by the sheer grace of his writing, forces you to hold mortality and love in the forefront of your mind and just let them sink in * Guardian * The Illumination is a quietly ambitious work ... Brockmeier clears a space for the exploration of beauties and pains that in a cruder novel might have been sentimental -- Michael Sayeau * Times Literary Supplement *

About the Author

Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of the story collection Things That Fall from the Sky and the children’s novel City of Names. He has published stories in many magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, McSweeney’s, and The Best American Short Stories. He has received the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, an Italo Calvino Short Fiction Award, a James Michener—Paul Engle Fellowship, two O. Henry Awards (one of which was a first prize), and, most recently, an NEA grant. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd February 2012


Kevin Brockmeier

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


272 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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