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How to Paint a Dead Man

Sarah Hall

How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

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A Booker-longlisted novel of art, absence, loss and passion, from Britain’s most exciting contemporary writer.

Moving between Italy and England, the lives of four people intertwine across half a century: a dying painter considers the sacrifices and losses that have made him an enigma; a blind girl tries to make sense of a world she can no longer see; a landscape artist finds himself trapped in dangerous terrain, and a young woman embarks on a dangerous affair of darkness and sexual abandon.

Critic Reviews

Tour de force in many ways...breathtakingly clever. Then there's the characterisation which is both bright and deep: each of the characters is distinct, believable, complex, flawed and human... but the best reason for loving this novel is the poetic quality of the prose... [it] was longlisted for the 2009 Man Booker prize. Why on earth wasn't it shortlisted?

Independent on Sunday
Critic Reviews

Beautifully realised... the split narratives and time jumps demand concetration, but it's worth it. Meditations on art glue everything together, and Hall's prose is raw, surprising and often quite magnificent.

Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

Her most satisfying [novel] so far... Hall's use of language is remarkably rich and intense. She adds layer upon layer like paint... How to Paint A Dead Man is that rare thing, a novel that feels too brief, too controlled. These stories could easily have uncoiled over further pages without feeling overlaboured.

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Critic Reviews

Memorable novel... Hall skilfully avoids a conventional narrative structure in favour of impressionistic tableaux, her brush strokes delicately adding layer upon layer to her characters.

Sunday Times

Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria. Twice nominated for the Man Booker Prize, she is the award-winning author of six novels and three short-story collections: The Beautiful Indifference, which won the Edge Hill and Portico prizes, Madame Zero, winner of the East Anglian Book Award, and Sudden Traveller, shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction. She is currently…

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