The author of the award-winning Spill Simmer Falter Wither returns with a stunning new novel about a young artist’s search for meaning and healing in rural Ireland.
Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize
“Baume is a writer of outstanding grace and style. She writes beyond the time we live in.”—Colum McCann
“Baume leaves nothing unturned in this dark and sometimes funny excavation of the human heart.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Fascinating, because of the cumulative power of the precise, pleasingly rhythmic sentences, and the unpredictable intelligence of the narrator’s mind.” —Guardian
Struggling to cope with urban life—and life in general—Frankie, a twenty-something artist, retreats to her family’s rural house on “turbine hill,” vacant since her grandmother’s death three years earlier. It is in this space, surrounded by countryside and wild creatures, that she can finally grapple with the chain of events that led her here—her shaky mental health, her difficult time in art school—and maybe, just maybe, regain her footing in art and life.
As Frankie picks up photography once more, closely examining the natural world around her, she reconsiders seminal works of art and their relevance. With “prose that makes sure we look and listen,”* Sara Baume has written an elegant novel that is as much an exploration of wildness, the art world, mental illness, and community as it is a profoundly beautiful and powerful meditation on life.
“Baume’s writing is near-faultless.” —Financial Times
“A novel of uniqueness, wonder, recognition, poignancy, truth-speaking, quiet power, strange beauty, and luminous bedazzlement.” — Joseph O’Connor
“When I finished Sara Baume’s new novel I immediately felt sad that I could not send it in the post to the late John Berger. He, too, would have loved it and found great joy in its honesty, its agility, its beauty, its invention. Baume is a writer of outstanding grace and style. She writes beyond the time we live in.” — Colum McCann
“After a remarkable and deservedly award-winning debut, here is a novel of uniqueness, wonder, recognition, poignancy, truth-speaking, quiet power, strange beauty and luminous bedazzlement. Once again, I’ve been Baumed.” — Joseph O’Connor
“Unflinching, at times uncomfortable, and always utterly compelling, A Line Made By Walking is among the best accounts of grief, loneliness, and depression that I have ever read. Every word of it rings true, the truth of hard-won knowledge wrested from the abyss. Shot through with a wild, yearning melancholy, it is nevertheless mordantly witty. It felt, to me, kindred to Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City: not just on a superficial level, a young woman seeking solace in art, but in the urgent depth of its quest to understand and articulate what it means to make art, and what art might mean for the individual, lost and lonely; how it might bring us out of, or back to, ourselves.” — Lucy Caldwell
“Fascinating, because of the cumulative power of the precise, pleasingly rhythmic sentences, and the unpredictable intelligence of the narrator’s mind . . . [In A Line Made by Walking] there is a reminder of the beauty that can be found when you allow yourself to look slowly and sadly at the world.” — Guardian
“Baume writes lovely prose about unimaginable pain. A clear-eyed, beautiful rendering of a woman struggling against despair.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Fans of Colum McCann and Richard Russo will adore this masterful and meditative novel that doesn’t emphasize plot over atmosphere.” — Booklist, starred review
“A spellbinding meditation on art and life.” — Bookseller
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