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Carys Davies author


Publisher:Granta Books

Published:7th Mar '24

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Clear cover

A wondrous tale of bonds forged when two men are pitted against each other on a remote island during the Highland Clearances, from the prize-winning author of West.

1843. On a remote Scottish island, Ivar, the sole occupant, leads a life of quiet isolation until the day he finds a man unconscious on the beach below the cliffs. The newcomer is John Ferguson, an impoverished church minister sent to evict Ivar and turn the island into grazing land for sheep. Unaware of the stranger's intentions, Ivar takes him into his home, and in spite of the two men having no common language, a fragile bond begins to form between them. Meanwhile on the mainland, John's wife Mary anxiously awaits news of his mission. Against the rugged backdrop of this faraway spot beyond Shetland, Carys Davies's intimate drama unfolds with tension and tenderness: a touching and crystalline study of ordinary people buffeted by history and a powerful exploration of the distances and connections between us. Perfectly structured and surprising at every turn, Clear is a marvel of storytelling, an exquisite short novel by a master of the form.

A compact, taut and brilliant novel with an ingenious premise. The book is about belonging, a dying language, secrets, and a pistol in a box. I loved every page -- Anthony Doerr
This intriguing and inventive story escorts the reader to an unexpectedly joyous ending that hints at our contemporary interest in new ideas of what a family might be. The writing style is one of clarity and reserved sensibility punctuated with an end-game needle jab. Not to be missed -- Annie Proulx
The sheer beauty of Clear-with its perfect sentences, its austere tenderness, and its quiet sense of disquiet-feels timeless... A poignant, profound depiction of both solitude and connection. Carys Davies has written a masterful, discreetly sublime book -- Hernan Diaz
An exquisite, hopeful masterpiece. Magical and humane, it is a celebration of love and courage. It will be my favourite book of 2024, and probably many more years to come -- Rachel Joyce
Clear is a love letter to a vanished way of life, to a landscape, and to human relationships. Captivating, tender, and satisfying, this is a novel to be savoured -- Claire Fuller, author of Unsettled Ground
With CLEAR, Carys Davies has again done brilliantly what she does best - saying most by saying least. She has the rare gift of eloquent brevity - CLEAR is astute, moving, unexpected -- Penelope Lively
A wonderfully humane and moving depiction of loneliness and the connections forged between strangers that transcend all barriers, even language -- Clare Chambers
Carys Davies is a writer of enviable sentences, descriptions and scenes. The atmosphere rendered in Clear is so true and immediate, any reader will be left with a sense memory of this landscape and these people. The story is original, captivating and lasting. Exquisite stuff -- Caoilinn Hughes
An archipelago of short chapters, stepping stones that lead us along a narrative of such intensity that the reader's desire is to finish the book at a sitting -- Bernard MacLaverty
Carys Davies' great gift is believing that her characters, whether they know it or not, have in them the strength to answer back against circumstances that would annihilate them. The circumstances here, devised by the merciless rich and powerful, are the Clearances -- David Constantine
Another miniaturist gem by Carys Davies, in which she excels as both portrait and landscape painter -- Chloe Aridjis
Tender, riveting and inventive is CLEAR, the newest offering and masterpiece from the brilliant Carys Davies. It will take your breath away -- Sarah Jessica Parker
The Welsh novelist writes epics in miniature... It is a tender, humane book * Sunday Times *
Short, powerful... an unforgettable tale of resilience, change and hope from the award-winning writer * PA Media *
Gripping... feels a bit like a thriller set against a history lesson rendered fantastically vivid * Vogue *
A lyrical exploration of the landscape, of loneliness, and of human relationships... A perfectly crafted novel * Historical Novel Society *
A memorable and beautifully told tale * Scottish Herald *
Her own language is a marvel of eloquent restraint * Observer *
An astonishing novel * Scotland on Sunday *
This quiet, careful novel feels built from the very elements themselves... Novels this unassuming, surprising and profound are special indeed * Tortoise Media *
Some wonderfully atmospheric writing * Sunday Times *
Wonderful... Tense and tender, I absolutely loved it * Scottish Field *
Clear is a love letter to the scorching power of language, a power that Davies has long understood... Davies is a writer of immense talent and deep humanity, capable of balancing devastating audacity with equally devastating restraint * Guardian *
An atmospheric marvel... It overflows with all the fundamentals of humanity: life, love, connection, empathy... The characters are so vividly alive, so full of feeling that you can almost hear their hearts pounding * I Newspaper *
There is great pleasure to be found of Davies's clear and calm prose, her wry asides and deep love of language, and in the book's quiet optimism. It is a slim, masterfully carved gem of a story that you won't easily forget * Evening Standard *
Amid the barbarity of mass evictions, with all their modern resonances, Davies ultimately offers us a story that is hopeful and humane * Irish Times *
A lucid and stylish prose writer, Davies is excellent at revealing characters through the language they use and through the gestures and tonal shifts that betray their weaknesses, their prejudices and hollow sentiments * TLS *
Another epic in miniature. Davies manages to pack in more drama and nuance into 160 pages than other authors manage in novels twice that length * Spectator *
Mustering a cast of highly individual characters, Davies's idiosyncratic novel brilliantly explores a forgotten corner of history * Daily Mail *
Told in Davies's trademark unvarnished prose, this is a taut, tense novella * Newspaper *
An exquisitely told story of the coming together of souls in a remote location, with sublime storytelling * Prima *
This is a gem of a novel that shines with tenderness and courage, and shimmers with the love of a long-lost language... Sublime * Daily Mail *
The magic is in Davies's handling of her material... To deliver an epic story in miniature like this - in fewer than 150 pages - is an exceptional achievement * The Critic *
A powerful novella that deals with loneliness, human connection and the power of language with beautiful economy... Clear is a wonderful example of an apparently small and contained story that has a huge heart and universal themes, looking at how we communicate and connect with each other on a fundamental level * Big Issue *
A profoundly intimate tale of loneliness, longing and the lengths you will go to for love * Marie Clare *

ISBN: 9781803510408

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 11mm

Weight: 241g

160 pages