Burntcoat: A Novel (Hardcover)

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"An extraordinary work that will stand as blazing witness to the age that bore it.” -- Sarah Perry

A "masterpiece" (Daisy Johnson) of mortality, passion, and human connection, set against the backdrop of a deadly global virus—from the Booker–nominated writer

You were the last one here, before I closed the door of Burntcoat. Before we all closed our doors . . .

In an unnamed British city, the virus is spreading, and like everyone else, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness retreats inside. She isolates herself in her immense studio, Burntcoat, with Halit, the lover she barely knows. As life outside changes irreparably, inside Burntcoat, Edith and Halit find themselves changed as well: by the histories and responsibilities each carries and bears, by the fears and dangers of the world outside, and by the progressions of their new relationship. And Burntcoat will be transformed, too, into a new and feverish world, a place in which Edith comes to an understanding of how we survive the impossible—and what is left after we have.

A sharp and stunning novel of art and ambition, mortality and connection, Burntcoat is a major work from “one of our most influential short story writers” (The Guardian). It is an intimate and vital examination of how and why we create—make art, form relationships, build a life—and an urgent exploration of an unprecedented crisis, the repercussions of which are still years in the learning.

About the Author

Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria. She is the prizewinning author of six novels and three short story collections. She is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award, Edge Hill Short Story Prize, among others, and the only person ever to win the BBC National Short Story Award twice. 

Praise For…

“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.”

— Daisy Johnson, author of Sisters

“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 blazing witness to the age that bore it.”
— Sarah Perry

“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.” 
— Benjamin Myers

"A powerful story of art and love set during a global pandemic....Hall brings perfect harmony to the sweeping themes, such as a pandemic’s impact on culture and the difficulties faced by a woman in the art world, and the prose, rich in description, is never overdone. This will serve as a benchmark for pandemic fiction."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The themes of Sarah Hall’s fifth novel, The Wolf Border, interlock like gears: men and women together, family, the animal/human divide, the idea of wilderness...Dazzling is her ability to distill so much into the pages of this completely satisfying novel.”
New York Times Book Review

"Hall’s writing is, as ever, arresting, polished, charged with imagery, luscious and electric. Reading her in Sudden Traveler is like watching a fireworks display.... Always on display is a sense of concentrated, spiky, efficient power."
— Times Literary Supplement (London)

"To enter into a world created by Sarah Hall is to step into a landscape that is feral and alive....The seven stories in Sudden Traveler merit savoring slowly: several of them reward rereading. Hall’s prose is briny and sensual....Her lyricism....reveals the influence of James Salter, but it’s a voice, fierce and unapologetic, uniquely her own."
Financial Times

"The writing is luminous from the first page...Slipping seamlessly between fantasy and reality, [Sudden Traveler] is an ambitious, powerful and, at times, deeply unsettling book."
— Observer (UK)

“Unsettling . . . what is new here…is the unflinching focus on physical control. This can make for squeamish reading…but the result is a powerful argument that, when civil institutions, or the bodies of state, are compromised, so, too, is the integrity of the body.”
New Yorker on Daughters of the North

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062657107
ISBN-10: 0062657100
Publisher: Custom House
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 224
Language: English