Katherine Carlyle is the breakthrough novel for literary novelist Thomson. Philip Pullman has already hailed the book 'a masterpiece.' The story, contemporary, concerns the discovering of one's self; identity and family - in the words of Richard Flanagan: 'this road trip through a snow dome of mesemeric hallucinations is Thomson at his best.'
In the late 80s, Katherine Carlyle is created using IVF. Stored as a frozen embryo for eight years, she is then implanted in her mother and given life. By the age of nineteen Katherine has lost her mother to cancer, and feels her father to be an increasingly distant figure. Instead of going to college, she decides to disappear, telling no one where she has gone. What begins as an attempt to punish her father for his absence gradually becomes a testing-ground of his love for her, a coming-to-terms with the death of her mother, and finally the mise-en-scene for a courageous leap from false empowerment to true empowerment.
Written in the beautifully spare, lucid and cinematic prose that Thomson is known for, KATHERINE CARLYLE uses the modern techniques of IVF and cryopreservation to throw new light on the myth of origins. It is a profound and moving novel about where we come from, what we make of ourselves, and how we are loved.
Thomson's ability to create a world that feels entirely original and untouched by any other mind is at full strength in this strange and haunting book ... It's the strongest and most original novel I've read for a very long time - Philip Pullman
Rupert Thomson's twilight worlds have long enchanted many readers, and this road trip through a snow dome of mesemeric hallucinations is Thomson at his best. - Richard Flanagan
Rupert Thomson is one of the most interesting, adventurous writers working in fiction today. - Anne Enright
Smart, stylish, inventive, and always entertaining, Rupert Thomson displays enormous range as a novelist. His prose is consistently sharp, his ideas consistently intriguing. I would read any book that Rupert Thomson wrote. - Lionel Shriver
This riveting and visionary story haunted me long after I finished the last page. Katherine Carlyle is an extraordinary novel - Deborah Moggach
It's a masterpiece. - Philip Pullman
Written with the verve, pace and detail of a spy novel, sleek and oddly honest, this is the fascinating story of Katherine Carlyle who mysteriously decides that instead of university and a privileged life she will erase her identity and much of her emotions and go untraceably to the most remote settlement of the Russian north. She is not seeking love. She is determined to have abandoned it. - James Salter
Rupert Thomson's writing serves as an augmentor of your own imagination. As with Secrecy, Katherine Carlyle immediately transports you into an ever-expanding, yet intimate cinematic experience. I absolutely loved it. - KT Tunstall
Rupert Thomson is the author of nine highly acclaimed novels, including The Insult, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, and chosen by David Bowie as one of his 100 Must-Read Books of all Time, The Book of Revelation, which was made into a feature film by the Australian writer/director, Ana Kokkinos, and Death of a Murderer, which was shortlisted for the Costa Prize. In 2010, he published a memoir, This Party Got to Stop, which won the Writers' Guild Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Rupert Thomson has contributed to the Financial Times, the Independent, and the Guardian. He lives in London.