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The Ecliptic


The mesmerising secondnovel from the acclaimed author of The Bellwether Revivals: a rich and immersive story of love, obsession, creativity and disintegration.

On a forested island off the coast of Istanbul stands Portmantle, a refuge for beleaguered artists. There, a curious assembly of painters, architects, writers and musicians strive to restore their faded talents. Elspeth 'Knell' Conroy is a celebrated painter who has fled the dizzying art scene of 1960s London; on the island, she spends her nights wrestling with her elusive masterpiece. Then a disaffected teenager named Fullerton arrives at the refuge and disrupts its routines. He is plagued by nightmares that steer him into danger, and Knell is left to pick apart the chilling mystery: where did the boy come from, what is 'The Ecliptic', and how does it relate to their abandoned lives in England?


© Nicholas Wood

Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in north-west England. A former Commonwealth Scholar, he is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing at King's College London. His debut novel, The Bellwether Revivals, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2012 and the Commonwealth Book Prize 2013, and won one of France's foremost literary awards,  Le Prix du Roman Fnac, in 2014. His second novel, The Ecliptic, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. He lives with his wife in London.

‘A flawless meditation on creativity and the psychic toll it takes. Not only is it beautifully written, but there's a bloody good twister of a plot that rewards you well beyond the final page’

– Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

‘Stunning … Wood has created one of the most moving and human characters in recent fiction’

– Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

‘A curious, bewitching and beguiling book that manages to be both profoundly moving and as gripping and unputdownable as a thriller. Outstanding’

– SJ Watson, author of Before I Go to Sleep

‘An intelligent examination of creativity, psychology, and a riveting mystery … this ambitious novel will haunt the imagination long after the final page’

– Independent on Sunday

‘A resounding achievement … Absorbing, rich, beautiful’

– Guardian

‘Exhilarating. A masterfully paced and suspenseful read’

– Independent

‘Wood has lost none of his ability to combine suspense with striking images. His fiction is playfully experimental, but never loses sight of its primary purpose: to entertain’

– Daily Telegraph

More books from this author: Benjamin Wood