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Burntcoat

Burntcoat

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Price: £6.495
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Faber Members get access to live and online author events and receive regular e-newsletters with book previews, promotional offers, articles and quizzes. There is a lot of gratuitous sex that seem unnecessary and it just gets too much especially as the author has already made clear the passion Edith and Halit feel for each other. Throughout the book, Edith achingly remembers the stories—stories from her unconventional childhood, stories of past abusive loves, stories of her creation of a masterwork of art—with a special emphasis on how and why we live and create in unprecedented times. Opening upon a scene a couple of decades in the future, 59-year old Edith Harkness — world famous sculptor; master of the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique of burning wood to seal it against decomposition — discovers that the AG3 novavirus, which had lain dormant in her since surviving a devastating pandemic as a young woman, has reactivated, giving her only days to live. Burntcoast it is extraordinary, proving once again (to quote the first line) that “those who tell stories survive.

A powerful, moving yarn about the importance of staying grounded, loving and living, and with rich prose and incredible description it immerses you in a story that was not only written during our very own pandemic but that examines the cultural, social, political and economic impacts such a crisis can have before ruminating on the issues we have on a more personal, rather than collective, level. Although I admire the poetic quality of Hall's writing, it was swollen with descriptions that I stumbled over, losing momentum. This is a compelling and wholly original read that surprised me in the sense that it explores loss, grief, remission and our trials and tribulations as human beings in a way that I have never read it touched upon quite like before. In an unnamed Northern British town, the virus is spreading, and like everyone else, celebrated sculptor and recent retiree 59-year-old recluse Edith Harkness retreats inside. Hall started writing this novel when the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, and I love the hazy atmosphere of this melancholic, lyrical novel about love and illness.In Burntcoat, Sarah Hall has created something vital and vivid, capturing the fragile relationship between life and death. And in the intensity it finds time to look at how we find meaning in life through art (important to me as a photographer who aims to create something artistic rather than a record of events) and at the struggle women face to find acceptance in a male-dominated arena.

The cause of her relapse is unknown to scientists, but what is definite is that Edith does not have long to live. Also of broader significance is Edith’s most famous installation, ‘The Witch at Scotch Corner’, an enormous Angel-of-the-North type structure, also known as ‘ Hecky’. Edith comes across like a composite of artists like Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin, vulnerable but fiercely feminist, keenly aware of the challenges of being a woman creating art, of the difficulty of negotiating male-dominated spaces. I suspect I'm doing Sarah Hall an injustice, but at times it really felt like I was reading chick lit upgraded with some artistic flair and a pandemic sauce over it.In the bedroom above her immense studio at Burntcoat, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness is making her final preparations. As the streets teemed with food riots and racist attacks, and the government and health care system seemed on the brink of collapse, Edith and Halit retreated to her fortress-like building to wait out the storm. We now live in a contemporary, modern world where pandemics happen, and our lives are impacted in multiple ways, including our innermost thoughts and feelings. My sincerest appreciation to Sarah Hall and William Morrow Custom House for the physical Advance Review Copy.

Hall's writing touches all your senses and in particular is very visual, especially when it comes to her descriptions of love, art and nature. But what preoccupies her is the memory of her fierce, almost visceral connection with Halit, the man she met before the pandemic took hold, the one she locked herself away with when everything started to fall apart.As a result, her radical artwork – a gigantic squatting woman – duly takes up its position by the Scotch Corner junction, the gateway to the North East. I knew going into the book that it was inspired by COVID and written during lockdown, but I hadn’t reckoned with the emotional and mental response I would have: it turns out that (and I didn’t know this about myself) I was not really ready to cope with books about pandemics that paint such a bleak prognosis (the virus in this book has a twist in its tale that took me to a dark place). The reason for her impending death is Nova (aka AG3) – a more severe virus than COVID but similar in many ways, primed to unleash the maximum devastation, destroying the body from within.

The story of a fictional pandemic, it’s told by an artist looking back on her experiences as she creates a commissioned sculpture to memorialize the victims. When Edith was aged eight, her mother, Naomi, suffered a brain haemorrhage – an incident Edith witnessed during an outing with her parents. There are many graphic sex scenes (between Edith and Halit and in memories of her former lovers) but they never felt gratuitous or cheap; being thrown together as a pandemic rages outside the walls of Burntcoat is a baptism by fire and this relationship burned intensely.She took an M Litt in Creative Writing at St Andrew's University and stayed on for a year afterwards to teach on the undergraduate Creative Writing programme. Like some of your other contributors here I was reluctant to embark on a pandemic themed novel when the current one is still raw in my memory. Sarah Hall’s work has everything: drama, poetry, tension, sensuality, dark magic and that undefinable otherness that is unique to her. Burntcoat's a powerfully expressed, lyrical novel that touches on important issues of creativity and how we might process death on such vast scales. quando se concentra na sua arte, na sua infância e na forma como a mãe, que era escritora, teve de reaprender tudo e se tornou uma eremita que, para mim, esta obra é realmente interessante e até comovedora.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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