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If Clara

If Clara

By Martha Baillie
Categories: Fiction
Paperback : 9781552453568, 160 pages, August 2017

A mysterious manuscript falls into a bed-ridden writer's lap in this novel of broken bones, Syrian folktales, and plummets of all varieties.

In If Clara, nobody stands on firm ground. Daisy, an author confined to her home, her leg in a cast from hip to ankle, receives a parcel containing the manuscript of a novel about a Syrian refugee, and is asked to pose as its writer. Julia, a curator of installation art, has no idea that her sister, Clara, has written a novel. However, she does know that Clara suffers from a debilitating mental illness that renders her wildly unpredictable. And Maurice's life is changed by a pair of binoculars welded to the wall of Julia's gallery. These stories collide in a most unexpected way.

Reviews

Praise for The Search for Heinrich Schlögel:

‘Baillie delivers a work of magical realism that captures the experience of postcolonial guilt ... and gives voice to a silenced past.’
– Publishers Weekly, starred review

‘Martha Baillie has written a timeless masterpiece. Every page is full of haunting wonderment. Truly, I know of no novel quite like it – it's a blessing. The Search for Heinrich Schlögel has dreamlike locutions, it tells the most unusual tale, and it brings the margins of the world to us with photographic immediacy.’
– Howard Norman, author of Next Life Might Be Kinder

‘How can we be entangled in the world, in history, and live a moral life? ... Martha Baillie's new novel is entirely original ... alive and visionary.’
– Madeleine Thien