SPILL SIMMER FALTER WITHER

Sara Baume

A debut novel already praised as “unbearably poignant and beautifully told” (Eimear McBride) this captivating story follows — over the course of four seasons — a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog.

It is springtime, and two outcasts — a man ignored, even shunned by his village, and the one-eyed dog he takes into his quiet, tightly shuttered life — find each other, by accident or fate, and forge an unlikely connection. As their friendship grows, their small, seaside town suddenly takes note of them, falsely perceiving menace where there is only mishap; the unlikely duo must take to the road.

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A debut novel already praised as “unbearably poignant and beautifully told” (Eimear McBride) this captivating story follows — over the course of four seasons — a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog.

It is springtime, and two outcasts — a man ignored, even shunned by his village, and the one-eyed dog he takes into his quiet, tightly shuttered life — find each other, by accident or fate, and forge an unlikely connection. As their friendship grows, their small, seaside town suddenly takes note of them, falsely perceiving menace where there is only mishap; the unlikely duo must take to the road.

Gorgeously written in poetic and mesmerizing prose, Spill Simmer Falter Wither has already garnered wild support in its native Ireland, where the Irish Times pointed to Baume’s “astonishing power with language” and praised it as “a novel bursting with brio, braggadocio and bite.” It is also a moving depiction of how — over the four seasons echoed in the title — a relationship between fellow damaged creatures can bring them both comfort. One of those rare stories that utterly, completely imagines its way into a life most of us would never see, it transforms us not only in our understanding of the world, but also of ourselves.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Paperback
  • March 2017
  • 304 Pages
  • 9780544954618

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$14.99

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About Sara Baume

Sara Baume studied fine art before earning a master’s in creative writing. Her short fiction has appeared in The Moth, TheStinging Fly, the Irish Independent, and other publications. She won the 2014 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award and the 2015 Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. She lives in Cork with her two dogs.

Praise

Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
Winner of the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award
Short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award
Long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize
Long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award 2015, Readers’ Choice
Long-listed for the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015
Long-listed for 2015 Edinburgh First Novel Award

“A deeply attuned portrait of the human mind…An unsettling literary surprise of the best sort.”Atlantic  

“This book is like a flame in daylight: beautiful and unexpected.”—Anne Enright

A tour de force…. No writer since JM Coetzee or Cormac McCarthy has written about an animal with such intensity. This is a novel bursting with brio, braggadocio and bite. Again and again it wows you with its ambition…At its heart is a touching and inspiriting sense of empathy, that rarest but most human of traits. Boundaries melt, other hearts become knowable…This book is a stunning and wonderful achievement by a writer touched by greatness.—Joseph O’Connor, for The Irish Times

This book is like a flame in daylight: beautiful and unexpected. It packs a big effect for something that seems so slight, and almost hard to see.”—Anne Enright

“Extraordinary . . . Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a heartbreaking read, and heralds Baume as a major new talent.” —Independent on Sunday

“A mesmerising debut.”—Telegraph