Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for 2015
Winner of theSunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award (Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2015)
Winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize?
Short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award
Long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize
Long-listed for The Guardian First Book Award 2015, A Readers' Choice
Long-listed for the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015
Long-listed for 2015 Edinburgh First Novel Award
?Nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award 2017
One of NPR's "Best Books of 2016"
One of the Wall Street Journal's "Best Books of 2016"
Barnes & Noble Spring 2016 Discover Great New Writers
March 2016 Indie Next Pick
2016 Winter/Spring Indies Introduce Pick
"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
“Unbearably poignant and beautifully told.”—Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing
“For language that sounds like music, there’s Sara Baume’s Spill Simmer Falter Wither, about a lonely Irish outcast and his one-eyed rescue dog.”—Anne Tyler, New York Times Book Review, “The Year in Reading”
“A deeply attuned portrait of the human mind…An unsettling literary surprise of the best sort. This first novel’s voice is singular in its humility and imaginative range…Baume’s novel revels in aesthetic leaps and dives, embracing the poetry of sensory experience in all its baffling beauty from the title onward…Baume’s prose makes sure we look and listen. Her book insists we take notice.”—The Atlantic
"[Baume] has a way with words...As you sink into the rhythms of Baume's prose, you can almost smell the salt air and feel the sting of a small town that can be unforgiving to those who are different."—NPR, "Best Books of 2016"
"Lonely man adopts unloved dog and both their lives are changed: You’ve heard this story before, but you’ve never seen it described with such transfiguring beauty and intensity. Sara Baume does with language what the dog does for her wayward loner of a hero: She makes the world appear new."—Wall Street Journal, "The 20 Books That Defined Our Year – The Best Fiction and Nonfiction of 2016"
“Extraordinary . . . Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a heartbreaking read, and heralds Baume as a major new talent.” —Independent on Sunday
"A deft and moving debut...To capture this constrained setting and quiet character requires specific skills, which Baume has in spades...It’s not easy to tell such a sparse tale, to be so economic with story, but the book hums with its own distinctiveness, presenting in singing prose an unforgettable landscape peopled by two unlikely Beckettian wanderers, where hope is not yet lost."—The Guardian
"A man-and-his-dog story like no other."—San Francisco Chronicle, "Recommendations from Book Passage"
“[A] lovely book…destined to become a small classic of animal communion literature.”—Wall Street Journal
“Captivating...Rich with incident and gorgeously depicted through Baume’s precise, lapidary prose...[Baume] displays wisdom beyond her years in this compassionate tale.”—BookPage
"[Baume’s] rhythmic, intimate prose abounds with startling sights, smells and sounds...[Her] sympathy for her 'wonkety' characters is infectious and their relationship – in all its drama and ordinariness – beautifully conveyed. Places and smells, plants and animals are conjured with loving attention, the narrative propelled by a striking linguistic intensity...Baume’s capacity for wonder turns this portrait of an unusual friendship into a powerful meditation on humanity."—New Statesman
"Sara Baume is a novelist to watch."—Daily Mail
“Ambitious and impressive . . . Baume’s engaging, intriguing and brightly original first novel may mark a comparably significant debut.”—Times Literary Supplement
"Told in splendid prose, with lyrical descriptions of the landscape, it’s an involving story and possibly the best first novel to emerge from Ireland since Eimear McBride’s debut."—The Herald UK
“One of the most quietly devastating books of the year…With Spill Simmer Falter Wither she has created a dark, tender portrait of what it’s like to live life on the margins.”—Sydney Morning Herald
"[A] joltingly original debut … Baume charts the growing dependency between these two stray souls with remarkable deftness and almost unbearable poignancy."—Mail on Sunday UK
"Sara Baume’s exquisite debut has a simple plot: an outcast man and his dog One Eye take to the road in a ramshackle car and watch the world, weather and seasons change as they drive through the highways and byways of Ireland. But the prose is full of wonder, inventive, poetic and dazzling, concerned with the smallest detail of the natural landscape and the terrain of human emotion, as Baume heartbreakingly describes how an ordinary life can falter and stall."—Sunday Express UK, "The best books about memories, misfits and mysteries"
"[A] fine debut...Baume succeeds in reawakening her reader's capacity for wonder...so much so that the book and its one-eyed dog became companions I was loathe to leave."—Observer (The Guardian)
"A mesmerising debut."—Telegraph, Featured at #8 in the "Autumn Arts Preview"
"Every so often a book comes along that is so perfect it takes your breath away, and leaves your heart hammering with the beauty of the writing and the sadness of the story. Sara Baume’s debut, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, is such a book…Baume’s prose is full of wonder – inventive, poetic and dazzling, concerned with the smallest details of the natural landscape and the terrains of human emotion. Absolutely astounding."—Psychologies, "Book of the Month"
"A vivid debut that shows that Baume is a talent to keep an eye on…a sweepingly poetic and heartbreaking meditation on life after grief that I won’t quickly forget...