Author(s): Andrew Miller
This is an exceptionally powerful new novel from the Booker-short-listed author of "Oxygen". Clem Glass was a successful photo-journalist, fired by his conviction that only photographs could capture the world's true face. Then, in Africa, he witnesses the grotesque aftermath of a massacre and returns to London with his faith in humanity shattered. Now nothing - work, love, or sex - can rouse him, and no other outlook can shift his altered vision. Not his father's Christianity, neither the new-found humanitarianism of his Canadian friend and fellow journalist. The one close relationship Clem is able to maintain is with his sister, who has been struck down by the return of a mental illness she had been free from for twenty years. Together they set up home in the rural Somerset of their childhood, and together they keep the darkness at bay. Then news arrives that the man responsible for the massacre has been spotted in Brussels. But is vengeance the answer? And can optimism ever be more than self-deceit?
The timely, exceptionally powerful new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of OXYGEN
'Exceptional' -- Sunday Times 'A profound novel, meditative, not conclusive ... Yet despite the absence of an easy happy ending, it leaves the reader with a feeling of courage and, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, hope.' -- Observer 'The writing is clear, precise, feelingly observant' -- Spectator 'A delight to read ... a novel of great intelligence and understanding, populated by characters who are recognisable yet exceptional.' -- Time Out 'A powerful and lively book, seriously engaged and cathartic ... gently, almost imperceptibly, impelled by the nourishment of love.' -- Financial Times 'The uncluttered narrative and the slow, quiet accumulation of everyday detail imbues this novel with a quiet grace' -- Daily Mail 'This novel represents a shocking, moving but ultimately hopeful vision of the best and worst of humanity.' -- Daily Express 'In Clem Glass, Miller has created neither a victim nor a victor but a man driven by his own innate decency, a character in whom we can believe, a person about whom we care and that is what great writing is about.' -- Irish Times 'Andrew Miller, in The Optimists", again proved his ability to blend a sturdy and satisfying architecture of character and plot with headline-hot themes - here, wars in Africa and media responsibility.' -- Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'A traumatised war photograpther tries ot find humanity in one of the year's most mysteriously overlooked novels.' -- Time Out Books of the Year
Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960 and grew up in the West Country. He has lived in Spain, Japan, Ireland and France, and currently lives in Brighton. His first novel, INGENIOUS PAIN, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. His second novel, CASANOVA, met with similar acclaim on its publication in 1998 and his third, OXYGEN, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001.