|A visionary novel by "one of the most talented writers of his generation" (The Times Literary Supplement)—shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize |
"Impressive . . . simultaneously poised and flowing in its urgency."—The Guardian (London)
"The world [Foulds] evokes . . . is conjured up with remarkable intensity and economy of means. It is impossible to guess where Foulds will travel next in his fiction, but it is safe to assume that the journey with him will be well worth taking." —The Sunday Times (London)
"Exceptional . . . like a lucid dream: earthy and true, but shifting, metamorphic—the word-perfect fruit of a poet's sharp eye and novelist's limber reach." —The Times (London)
Based on real events, The Quickening Maze won over UK critics and readers alike with its rapturous prose and vivid exploration of poetry and madness. Historically accurate yet brilliantly imagined, this is the debut publication of this elegant and riveting novel in the United States.
In 1837, after years of struggling with alcoholism and depression, the great nature poet John Clare finds himself in High Beach—a mental institution located in Epping Forest on the outskirts of London. It is not long before another famed writer, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and grows entwined in the catastrophic schemes of the hospital's owner, the peculiar, charismatic Dr. Matthew Allen, as well as with his lonely, adolescent daughter, and a coterie of mysterious local characters. With remarkable lyrical grace, the cloistered world of High Beach and its residents are richly brought to life in this affecting and enchanting book. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize