Light Perpetual

Product Details
$28.00  $26.04
Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.1 X 1.1 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author
Francis Spufford is the author of five highly praised books of nonfiction. His first book, I May Be Some Time, won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Nonfiction Book of 1996, the Banff Mountain Book Prize, and a Somerset Maugham Award. It was followed by The Child That Books Built, Backroom Boys, Red Plenty (which was translated into nine languages), and most recently, Unapologetic. His first novel, Golden Hill, won the Costa First Novel Award. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge. His most recent novel is Light Perpetual.
"Radiant with hope and grace and courage . . . I loved it." --Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent

"Dazzling ... [Spufford is] one of the finest prose stylists of his generation. If his stories grip, his sentences practically glow." --The Times (UK)

"A brilliant, attention-grabbing, capacious experiment with fiction." --Observer (UK)

"Boundlessly rich." --The Telegraph (UK)

"Gleams with literary finesse. Keen perception and exact verbal flair...abound...The novel's overarching feat is to resurrect with marvellous vitality not just its central five figures, but six transformative decades of London life." --Sunday Times (UK)
"Inspired by the 1944 bombing of a Woolworth's that killed 168 people, Spufford . . . imagines how the lives of five children who died in the blast might have turned out if they had lived. The novel revisits each character roughly every 15 years, giving a window into postwar London throughout the decades." --The New York Times, "15 New Books to Watch For in May"
"I was reminded of the death-defying bent of two other recent novels--Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and Paul Auster's 4 3 2 1 -- both of which share with Light Perpetual a kind of radiant goodness, a sense that the world is a better place for having such books within them.... Light Perpetual's brilliance lies in the emotion and drama it wrings from the ordinary--but profoundly meaningful--experiences of its protagonists." --Financial Times

"With bold metaphysical engineering, the Golden Hill author conjures miraculous everyday existence...Light Perpetual is something new and brave. With exceptional care, with a loving shrewdness . . ., Spufford catches the voices and hopes of five . . . Londoners, and the people who change and shape them." --The Guardian
*A New York Times Notable Book of 2021*

"A God's-eye meditation on mutability and loss. . . . an extraordinary novel in terms of its variety of character, symphonic language and spiritual reach. . . . [Spufford is] such a beautiful writer, casually stunning in his language and perceptions. . . . Light Perpetual is a miracle, not only of art but of encompassing empathy." --Maureen Corrigan, The Wall Street Journal

"Offers a moving view of how people confront the gap between their expectations and their reality." --The New Yorker

"Vividly imagined. . . . Spufford is a fluent writer, bringing a deft touch to the emotional force fields of parents and their children. . . . richly drawn." --Christopher Benfy, The New York Times Book Review

"Heady, vivid, ecstatically precise. . . . uncannily good. . . . Light Perpetual is the sort of novel that's carried by its descriptions, passages that transform the ordinary into the transcendent and leave us marveling." --Laura Miller, Slate

"Spufford's storytelling is beautiful, paced, and engaging. . . . [He] makes the case that all lives are inherently interesting if we look at them closely enough." --Lit Hub, "Our Favorite Books of 2021"

"Just finished Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford. My God he can write. And one of the best opening chapters and closing chapters you'll ever read."--Richard Osman, author of The Thursday Murder Club and The Man Who Died Twice

"Magical . . . stunning. . . . Thanks to Spufford's narrative wizardry, all five protagonists come to vivid life in this spectacularly moving story." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"[A] richly imagined mosaic. . . . [T]he characters are complex, engaging, memorable. Spufford does indeed bring them to life. He also brings depth and detail to every vignette, from a boy's view of soccer to hot-lead typesetting, a neo-Nazi concert, or a trip on a double-decker bus. . . . Entertaining and unconventional." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

"Graceful. . . . Light Perpetual derives considerable power from dramatizing the experiences its characters missed: the chance to build and lose a fortune, to see one's dreams realized or else rerouted toward more modest achievements, or just to hold a loved one's hand." --BookPage, STARRED review

"Five children die in 1944, but imagined glimpses of their unlived lives generate powerful moments of reflection and redemption... Spufford's second novel swells with the same lively, intimate prose as his celebrated debut, The Golden Hill (2017). But its unconventional framing and larger, more contemporary themes makes it an even stronger book." --Booklist, STARRED review

"Spufford has the compassion, wit, and moral sense of a C.S. Lewis, and the literary dazzle and inventiveness of a David Mitchell. Is this the book of the year? I thought so." --Joe Hill