Born in California, raised in Omaha and currently living in London, it might come as some surprise to hear that Patrick Flanery’s stunning debut Absolution is set in distant Cape Town. His complex thriller - which has been hailed ‘first class’ by the Observer, and ‘exceptional’ by the Independent - sheds a light on contemporary Africa whilst providing a chilling glimpse into its troubled apartheid past through the haunting but selective memories of its protagonist, Clare Wald; a world-renowned author who lost a sister and a daughter during the strife. But when probed by biographer Sam Leroux, it becomes clear that the truth is buried deeper than either of them anticipated, and Clare is not the only one battling with the ghosts of her past…
Patrick Flanery worked in the film industry for three years before moving to the UK to complete a doctorate in Twentieth-Century English Literature at Oxford. Prior to the publication of Absolution, he had had articles published in a number of academic journals on film and British and South African literature, he has also written for Slightly Foxed and The Times Literary Supplement.
Flanery’s writing has been compared to Henry James, Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood, and J M Coetzee, and Absolution has been hotly tipped for the 2012 Man Booker Prize; it is already on the Waterstones 11, which lists their choice of the best debut fiction for 2012; and was longlisted for the 2012 Desmond Elliot Prize. This is one debut destined to become a classic.
- Festival dates:
- 15–31 Aug 2020
- Programme launch:
- end of July