The long delirious burning blue
‘Hugely potent. A tribute to the art of storytelling … an affecting and inspiring story’
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
New edition from September Publishing, coming 4 April, 2024
‘You and me against the world, you used to sing. In the days before it became you and me against each other.’
Cat Munro – who has never taken a day off in her working life – quits her corporate job and starts flying lessons in a small plane over the Arizona desert, confronting her fear not only of death, but of life. Her mother, Laura, moves back to the Scottish village where she spent the first years of her marriage to Cat’s abusive father. Though they are apart, the past connects mother and daughter, haunts them, binds them.
From the excoriating heat of the Arizona desert to the misty flow of a Highland sea-loch, Sharon Blackie’s soaring first novel presents us with the transformative power of landscape, and of storytelling, in women’s lives.
Above all, The Long Delirious Burning Blue is a story of courage, endurance and redemption.
‘It is that rarity, a first novel that smacks of not merely confidence, but authority … The ending is powerful, filmic, and achieving the kind of symmetry that novels often aspire to, but rarely reach.’
‘The truth is that we humans are so much less efficient. We shed our skins piece by piece, flake by flake. Slowly, over time; slowly enough that we never even notice that it’s happening.’
Extract from “The Long Delirious Burning Blue”
‘It is that rarity, a first novel that smacks of not merely confidence, but authority, a sense that the story is true and clearly envisioned, with the technique to make it seem seamless, dynamic and written with verve and a care for the English language … The ending is powerful (reminiscent of The English Patient), filmic, and achieving the kind of symmetry that novels often aspire to, but rarely reach.’
Tom Adair, The Scotsman
‘Hugely potent. A tribute to the art of storytelling that is itself an affecting and inspiring story.’
The Independent on Sunday
‘A cleverly-woven presentation of how violence and lies within a family work down the generations.’
Scottish Review of Books
‘Sharon Blackie writes with a real sense of truth and emotional depth about relationships between individuals, and between individuals and their environment. Her characters are figures in a landscape brought vividly, vibrantly to life.’
‘An inspirational literary début; empathetic and mature.’
‘It’s almost impossible to believe that The Long Delirious Burning Blue is a first novel. Sharon Blackie’s spare but elegant prose style seems to belong to a far more experienced writer. She evokes both the seared beauty of the desert landscapes and the rain-soaked mystery of the Scottish mountains with equal skill, weaving them into the fabric of the story … The psychological and emotional journeys of both women are observed and told with an unsentimental but sympathetic accuracy which makes The Long Delirious Burning Blue compulsively readable … This is an astoundingly accomplished novel which will live on in your mind long after you’ve read the final paragraph.’
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