An utterly stunning novel of love, loss, the insidious nature of secrets, and the transformative power of words. I Saw a Man fulfills the promise of Owen Sheers's acclaimed novel, Resistance.
When journalist Caroline Marshall dies while on assignment in Pakistan, her grief-stricken husband, Michael, leaves their cottage in Wales and returns to London. He quickly develops a friendship with his neighbors, Josh and Samantha Nelson, and their two young daughters. Michael’s becoming close with the family marks the beginning of a long healing process.
But Michael's period of recovery comes to an abrupt end when a terrible accident brings the burden of a shattering secret into his life. How will Michael bear the agonizing weight of guilt as he navigates persistent doubts on the path to attempted redemption? The answer, revealed poignantly in Sheers' masterly prose, is eloquent, resonant, and completely unforgettable.
About the Author
Owen Sheers is a poet, author and playwright. His first novel, Resistance, was translated into ten languages and adapted into a film. The Dust Diaries, his Zimbabwean nonfiction narrative, won the Welsh Book of the Year Award. His awards for poetry and drama include the Somerset Maugham Award for Skirrid Hill, the Hay Festival Medal for Poetry and Welsh Book of the Year Award for Pink Mist, and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for his play The Two Worlds of Charlie F. He lives in Wales with his wife and daughter. He has been a New York Public Library Cullman Fellow and is currently Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.
"The suspense is almost physically frustrating ... Mr. Sheers knows when to let the line out and when to reel it in ... an extended examination of grief, responsibility, guilt and redemption." —The New York Times
"[I]mmensely pleasurable ... From the start you feel Sheers knows exactly what he is doing ... This is an exemplary thriller, clever, classy, slick — and always one step ahead of the reader." —The Sunday Times [UK]
"[A] gripping and stylish thriller ... Moving smoothly back and forth in time, Sheers’s narrative is one of finely tuned suspense that erupts into visceral drama. An award-winning poet, his honed prose is full of images of photographic sharpness that leap from the page. But this is also a novel driven by ideas, which, in keeping with its central theme, spins out across the world. As the connections between its characters become clear, and they struggle with the ripple effect of their tragic actions, so pressing questions about art and war, culpability and atonement are raised.The manner in which they’re ultimately resolved is bold and satisfying." —Daily Mail [UK]
"[D]eeply poignant ... A profound meditation on memory and mourning, Sheers’s novel captures the 'unbearably fragile' nature of joy." —Observer [UK]
"[E]xtraordinarily tense and powerful, and beautifully written." —Mail on Sunday [UK]
"Sheers’ thriller is driven as much by subtle ideas as suspense ... [P]sychologically astute ... Sheers writes carefully about careless people and the results present the reader with a reflective window on to self-deception." —Independent [UK]
"A powerful moral thriller ... Sheers skilfully drip-feeds the reader his characters' secrets and lies, including a remarkable sequence leading up to the book's central, shocking moment of revelation. I Saw a Man's ending is similarly bravura, elegantly throwing into new light much of what has gone before." —Literary Review [UK]
"The stately prose and cool omniscience in I Saw A Man provide the perfect cover for the roiling sea of emotions under its surface. One of the book’s great strengths is how difficult it becomes to tell the good guys from the bad as the story progresses ... and the moral landscape grows ever murkier. Settled domesticity gives way to a quietly charged, Dostoyevskian psychic chaos whose outcomes are thrillingly uncertain." —Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves