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An electrifying story of passion, connection and transformation from ‘a writer of show-stopping genius’ (Guardian).
‘Dark and brilliant.’ SARAH MOSS
‘A masterpiece.’ DAISY JOHNSON
‘Extraordinary.’ SARAH PERRY
‘Searing… Sarah Hall’s best work yet.’ JON McGREGOR
‘One of the best books of the year.’
‘Hall has set a bar . . . Finely wrought, intellectually brave and emotionally honest.’
In the bedroom above her immense studio at Burntcoat, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness is making her final preparations. The symptoms are well known: her life will draw to an end in the coming days.
Downstairs, the studio is a crucible glowing with memories and desire. It was here, when the first lockdown came, that she brought Halit. The lover she barely knew. A presence from another culture. A doorway into a new and feverish world.
‘Sarah Hall makes language shimmer and burn . . . One of the finest writers at work today.’
‘Wonderful . . . The writing goes down smoking hot onto the page.’
‘Transporting . . . A beautiful novel, full of heat and darkness.’
‘I can think of no other British writer whose talent so consistently thrills, surprises and staggers . . . With Burntcoat she has solidified her status as the literary shining light we lesser souls aspire to.’
Burntcoat is a dark and brilliant novel about love, art and fragility in a time of crisis.
Hall’s writing is alchemical, magnificent, divine, bodily. Here are new ways to understand what it feels like to be human. Here are books to cherish. Burntcoat is a masterpiece. I lay myself at the altar of everything Hall writes.
Sarah Hall makes language shimmer and burn. She’s not afraid of big themes and has the talent to back up her ambition, but she’s just as good at the intimate and domestic... One of the finest writers at work today.
I loved and needed this full-throated yell of a novel about female desire, resilience, strangeness and artistic power, about the amplification of that power through suffering, and about the terror and beauty of bodies in extremis. Nobody writes like Sarah Hall, and here her lucid, vital, extraordinary style is matched perfectly to its subject – it's an extraordinary work that will stand as a blazing witness to the age that bore it.
Wonderful… Sarah Hall manages to infuse a whole novel with the intensity of one of her stories. The writing goes down smoking hot onto the page. Above all, it is the feeling of all this coming out of the writer’s depths that makes it so compelling. This will be among the very best of pandemic books.
I can think of no other British writer whose talent so consistently thrills, surprises and staggers. Sarah Hall’s work has everything: drama, poetry, tension, sensuality, dark magic and that undefinable otherness that is unique to her. She is the best there is. "Writer’s writer" can often be seen as a backhanded compliment, but Sarah Hall is this – and so much more. With Burntcoat she has solidified her status as the literary shining light we lesser souls aspire to.
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