Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of eight acclaimed novels and a collection of short stories; his most recent work is
"'Perfectly controlled, superbly written. Waterland is original, compelling and narration of the highest order' Guardian 'This beautifully balanced novel describes the arrangements, accommodations, pacts and treaties of our ordinary lives' The Times 'Last Orders confirms his reputation as one of the great contemporary chroniclers of landscape and memory' Observer 'Not a book the reader is likely to forget, Out of this World deserves to be ranked at the forefront of contemporary literature' New York Times Book Review 'Swift's central strength as a writer is his integrity. Story and character are treated with a seriousness and respect that while allowing for the oddity of human behaviour - Shuttlecock is thoroughly and beautifully odd - always honours them' TLS 'Swift's essays display the same quiet intensity as his fiction, a capacity for subtle storytelling with dark emotional undercurrents' Financial Times 'An immensely readable volume. On every page, Swift emerges as a considerable essayist, who upholds the sterling virtue of good writing combined with emotional and intellectual engagement' Evening Standard"
This perfectly titled novel is about longing for the people in our lives who have died. Taking place over just a few days, it focuses on Jack Luxton's journey to retrieve the remains of his brother Tom, a soldier who died in Iraq. The brothers grew up on a farm in the British countryside, and hovering over the story is the specter of mad cow disease on one end and terror (both political and personal) on the other. Madness and terror certainly infect Jack, who has suffered the loss of nearly everyone he loves. The question that propels the action is whether he will ultimately destroy himself as well. Like Swift's Waterland, this book explores the ways the past haunts us, and, like his Booker Prize-winning Last Orders, it uses a death as a provocation for the examination of self and country. VERDICT Swift has written a slow-moving but powerful novel about the struggle to advance beyond grief and despair and to come to grips with the inevitability of change. Recommended for fans of Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, and Kazuo Ishiguro, authors with a similar method of slowly developing an intense interior narrative. [See Prepub Alert, 9/30/11.]-Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.