The Sunlight Pilgrims
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The Sunlight Pilgrims

3.58 (943 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the highly acclaimed author of The Panopticon and one of Granta's Best Young British Writers comes the new novel THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS. Set in a Scottish caravan park during a freak winter - it is snowing in Jerusalem, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to arrive off the coast of Scotland - The Sunlight Pilgrims tells the story of a small Scottish community living through what people have begun to think is the end of times. Bodies are found frozen in the street with their eyes open, midst economic collapse, schooling and health care are run primarily on a voluntary basis. Dylan, a refugee from panic-stricken London who is grieving for his mother and his grandmother, arrives in the caravan park in the middle of the night - to begin his life anew. Under the lights of the aurora borealis, he is drawn to his neighbour Constance, a woman who is known for having two lovers, her eleven-year old daughter Stella, who is struggling to navigate changes in her own life, and elderly Barnacle, so crippled that he walks facing the earth. But as the temperature drops, daily life carries on: people get out of bed, they make a cup of tea, they fall in love, they complicate. The Sunlight Pilgrims, the thrilling follow-up to The Panopticon, is a humane, sad, funny, shimmeringly odd and beautiful novel about absence, about the unknowability of mothers. It is a story about people in extreme circumstances finding one another, and finding themselves.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 143 x 217 x 32mm | 492g
  • Cornerstone
  • William Heinemann Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0434023302
  • 9780434023301
  • 216,576

Review quote

"[A] vivid and tender coming-of-age story set at the end of the world ... For all its coldness and darkness, The Sunlight Pilgrims is ultimately a hopeful book - and for a novel that describes the end of the world, that is quite a feat." -- Kirsty Logan Guardian "Fagan received widespread acclaim for her 2012 debut The Panopticon, and was named as one of the prestigious Granta Best of Young British Novelists a year later. The Sunlight Pilgrims further cements Fagan's reputation as a writer of skill and depth, a book that shares a similar outsider charm to its predecessor, and one that delves deep into how we relate to others on a human level in the face of all the crap that life throws at us ... The author also, it should be said, writes like the poet that she is, with an original eye for description, a wonderful rhythm to her prose, and some genuinely inspiring and unusual characters. An impressive read." -- Doug Johnstone Big Issue "The Sunlight Pilgrims evokes a chillingly plausible near-future ... intimately imagined." -- Paraic O'Donnell The Spectator "Fagan's vivid, poetic-prose style injects the book with energy. She writes at the pace of thought, sentences like gunfire ... She has a poet's affection for precision and image." -- Sophie Elmhirst Financial Times "Fagan is drawn to those who exist on the outer reaches, and in The Sunlight Pilgrims it is in the literal margins where a broader and yet more refined collection of voices is drawn together ... The Sunlight Pilgrims is about the confluence of characters searching to fill the gaps in their lives ... In the transgender 11-year-old Stella we have an engaging protagonist whose isolation is mental, physical and geographical, yet who is imbued with a survivalist's steely resolve ... Indeed, it is somewhere between Alan Warner and Iain Banks that Fagan's storytelling ability sits, the grit of her familial backstories and dysfunctional relationships dusted with the glitter of magical realism ... In heightened poetic prose, Fagan does for rural Scottish fiction what Kathleen Jamie is doing in poetry and Amy Liptrot in non-fiction: evocatively documenting the ever-changing daily drama of the landscape ... This is a novel about summoning hidden strengths and finding one's place in a universe defined by chaos." -- Ben Myers New Statesmanshow more

About Jenni Fagan

Jenni Fagan was born in Scotland, and lives in Edinburgh. She graduated from Greenwich University with the highest possible mark for a student of Creative Writing, and won a scholarship to the Royal Holloway MFA. A published poet, she has won awards from Creative Scotland, Dewar Arts and Scottish Screen among others. She has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the James Tait Black Prize. Jenni was selected as one of the Granta's Best Young British Novelists in 2013 after the publication of her highly acclaimed debut novel, The Panopticon.show more

Review Text

"Fagan is drawn to those who exist on the outer reaches, and in The Sunlight Pilgrims it is in the literal margins where a broader and yet more refined collection of voices is drawn together ⦠The Sunlight Pilgrims is about the confluence of characters searching to fill the gaps in their lives ⦠In the transgender 11-year-old Stella we have an engaging protagonist whose isolation is mental, physical and geographical, yet who is imbued with a survivalistâs steely resolve ... Indeed, it is somewhere between Alan Warner and Iain Banks that Faganâs storytelling ability sits, the grit of her familial backstories and dysfunctional relationships dusted with the glitter of magical realism ... In heightened poetic prose, Fagan does for rural Scottish fiction what Kathleen Jamie is doing in poetry and Amy Liptrot in non-fiction: evocatively documenting the ever-changing daily drama of the landscape ⦠This is a novel about summoning hidden strengths and finding oneâs place in a universe defined by chaos."show more

Rating details

943 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 18% (171)
4 38% (357)
3 31% (295)
2 10% (90)
1 3% (30)
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