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Imprint

  • Constable
  • Hachette Audio
  • Constable

The Thing Is

Christopher Potter

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A novel, a confession, a poem, an autofiction, a commonplace book, a prose poem, The Thing Is will provide a new twist on the continuing adaptability of the form that we call the novel.

The Thing Is . . .

A novel, a confession, a poem, an autofiction, a commonplace book, a prose poem.

By turns serious and playful, profound and trivial, sad and joyful, The Thing Is is a shape-shifting narrative: one that starts out as written by an alien, seeing the earth and its inhabitants from the outside. This perspective then becomes that of an everychild, who vaguely remembers having once been an alien, and evolves into the biography of everybody who has ever lived.

The narrative moves deftly from an ingenious theory about the origins of the universe and the emergence of life, to a riff on the poetic power of doorways (and other thresholds); or from stories about things hidden from view or buried by time, to what it feels like to be alive at this particular moment in history.

Beautifully wrought, often funny and poignant, The Thing Is is designed to be read in a variety of ways: in gobbets, all in one go, slowly, quickly, repeatedly. This slow/fast read is the perfect novel for our fast/slow times. Whatever The Thing Is to you, it will provide a new twist on the continuing adaptability of the form that we call the novel.

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