Jessie Greengrass - Sight - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473652378
    • Publication date:22 Feb 2018
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Sight

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018

By Jessie Greengrass

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The extraordinary first novel from the author of the prize-winning An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018

'A stunning debut' Guardian

In Jessie Greengrass' superb debut novel, our unnamed narrator recounts her progress to motherhood, while remembering the death of her own mother ten years before, and the childhood summers she spent with her psychoanalyst grandmother.

Woven among these personal recollections are significant events in medical history: Wilhelm Röntgen's discovery of the X-ray; Sigmund Freud's development of psychoanalysis and the work that he did with his daughter, Anna; and the origins of modern surgery and the anatomy of pregnant bodies.

Sight is a novel about being a parent and a child: what it is like to bring a person in to the world, and what it is to let one go. Exquisitely written and fiercely intelligent, it is an incisive exploration of how we see others, and how we might know ourselves.

Biographical Notes

Jessie Greengrass was born in 1982. She studied philosophy in Cambridge and London, where she now lives with her partner and child. An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award, and was shortlisted for the PFD/Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. Sight is her first novel.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473652392
  • Publication date: 10 Jan 2019
  • Page count: 208
  • Imprint: John Murray
A stunning debut — Guardian
Precise and moving . . . The pages on the mother's decline are a masterclass in wrenching, pitiless truth . . . the potted stories of Röntgen, Freud and Hunter form a fluid, richly associative historic narrative of investigation into the body and the mind, about seeking constantly to expand the borders of what we can see — Daily Telegraph ****
An exceptionally accomplished debut — Observer
The poise, intelligence and serious intent of Sight will be lauded, and rightly so. I would not be surprised to see it on heavyweight prize lists — Sunday Times
Exceptional . . . The prose is unsentimental, measured, breathtaking in its elegance . . . remarkably moving — The Spectator
This is a first novel - an original one by a writer who clearly has considerable gifts and a serious, nuanced approach to individual psychology and intellectual history — Financial Times
Greengrass's fiercely cerebral despatch from one of life's most extraordinary rites of passage impresses linguistically, intellectually and emotionally — Mail on Sunday
A slight and wondrous tale — New Statesman
A slow burning, beautifully written debut . . . accomplished and melancholic — Irish Times
Remarkable and affecting — Literary Review
A masterly tale . . . [an] outstanding first novel — TLS
A self-consciously good writer — The Times
Jessie Greengrass's first book . . . won plaudits for its incisive, compelling prose. Greengrass brings the same power to her debut novel, Sight — Radio Times
Stands out for its seriousness, and its willingness to explore universal subjects — i
Cerebral and tender, Greengrass' voice is smart and original — Elle
This singularly introspective book is a stimulating read . . . a spectacularly written novel — Book Riot
An insightful novel that explores relatable issues and fascinating themes, but also stands out as a work of art — The Lady
A terrific writer . . . it's hard not to be blown away by the sheer brilliance of the work and her ability as a wordsmith — Storgy
Fascinating . . . Greengrass is a master of subtlety . . . [it is] wonderful in terms of its execution, a very self-contained and meticulously planned tale that is very effective and moving — Wormhole
Beautiful to read . . . wise and insightful . . . completely compelling — Monocle
Written in gorgeous, crystalline prose, Sight is a moving exploration of perception and wonder — Dazed
A philosophical quest investigating what lies beneath our skins, exploring the transformative impact, physically and intellectually, of pregnancy — Patricia Nichol
One of the finest English novels I've read... It is exquisitely well-assembled and every page has a line of pure underline-for-later brilliance — Max Porter
This book blew me away. It is beautiful and devastating and perfectly formed — Daisy Johnson
Greengrass reminds me of Virginia Woolf - in her intelligence and scope of interest, and in her evocative ability to capture a single consciousness, all while seemingly re-inventing the novel form. Sight is a beautiful debut, and Greengrass is an important new voice in fiction — Jamie Quatro, author of Fire Sermon
A very intriguing, challenging novel . . . very moving — Toby Lichtig
I honestly can't remember the last time I read a novel so near to perfection, so full of grace. With every page I was in awe of the author's sense of pace, her attention to nuance, the acuity of feeling and clarity of reflection — Sara Baume
The author of an award-winning short story collection, An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It, Greengrass adapts to the novel format with enviable flexibility . . . Greengrass writes stunningly about the experience of pregnancy and motherhood — Guardian
As a meditation on parenthood, grief and the awareness that knowledge can be both wondrous and terrifying, Sight is an exceptionally accomplished debut — Observer
An exceptional debut novel . . . The prose is unsentimental, measured, breathtaking in its elegance, but never precious or mannered. Paragraphs over several pages, page-long sentences, move with extraordinary cadence towards devastatingly bathetic or utterly heartbreaking conclusions . . . And the book is also about, in part, the necessity of that separation; the ongoing and ever-unfinished coming into being of a person. It brings all these things together, loosely and delicately, in a way that is unexpectedly and remarkably moving — The Spectator
There are echoes of WG Sebald and Rachel Cusk in this thoughtful, digressive style that swirls together the historical and the personal, but Greengrass's questing intellect and elegant prose are all her own — Guardian, 50 Books to Read Now
I read Sight with so much ache and admiration. It isn't just the painful subject matter - how it feels to be both a mother and a daughter, looking in two directions at once, watching one life begin while grieving the end of another. It's the lyricism of the prose, and the way the philosophical, essayistic portions of the novel gradually take on a quality of desperation, as if they're the narrator's attempt to codify and control the chaos of the human body. In many ways Greengrass reminds me of Virginia Woolf - in her intelligence and scope of interest, and in her evocative ability to capture a single consciousness, all while seemingly re-inventing the novel form. Sight is a beautiful debut, and Greengrass is an important new voice in fiction — Jamie Quatro, author of Fire Sermon
Greengrass is a perceptive and deep observer of human nature, one who finds incredibly beautiful and realistic ways to express the everyday life in words. The novel is a goldmine of quote-worthy passages, the sort of deep pondering you find as asides in George Eliot — Helsinki Book Review
A moving and contemplative account of a woman's life as she grieves for a mother lost at the cusp of adulthood, and her journey towards becoming a wife and mother herself — Optima
A stunning debut
Precise and moving . . . The pages on the mother's decline are a masterclass in wrenching, pitiless truth . . . the potted stories of Röntgen, Freud and Hunter form a fluid, richly associative historic narrative of investigation into the body and the mind, about seeking constantly to expand the borders of what we can see
An exceptionally accomplished debut
The poise, intelligence and serious intent of Sight will be lauded, and rightly so. I would not be surprised to see it on heavyweight prize lists
Exceptional . . . The prose is unsentimental, measured, breathtaking in its elegance . . . remarkably moving
This is a first novel - an original one by a writer who clearly has considerable gifts and a serious, nuanced approach to individual psychology and intellectual history
Greengrass's fiercely cerebral despatch from one of life's most extraordinary rites of passage impresses linguistically, intellectually and emotionally
A slight and wondrous tale
A slow burning, beautifully written debut . . . accomplished and melancholic
Remarkable and affecting
A masterly tale . . . [an] outstanding first novel
A self-consciously good writer
Jessie Greengrass's first book . . . won plaudits for its incisive, compelling prose. Greengrass brings the same power to her debut novel, Sight
Stands out for its seriousness, and its willingness to explore universal subjects
Cerebral and tender, Greengrass' voice is smart and original
This singularly introspective book is a stimulating read . . . a spectacularly written novel
An insightful novel that explores relatable issues and fascinating themes, but also stands out as a work of art
A terrific writer . . . it's hard not to be blown away by the sheer brilliance of the work and her ability as a wordsmith
Fascinating . . . Greengrass is a master of subtlety . . . [it is] wonderful in terms of its execution, a very self-contained and meticulously planned tale that is very effective and moving
Beautiful to read . . . wise and insightful . . . completely compelling
Written in gorgeous, crystalline prose, Sight is a moving exploration of perception and wonder
A philosophical quest investigating what lies beneath our skins, exploring the transformative impact, physically and intellectually, of pregnancy
One of the finest English novels I've read... It is exquisitely well-assembled and every page has a line of pure underline-for-later brilliance
This book blew me away. It is beautiful and devastating and perfectly formed
Greengrass reminds me of Virginia Woolf - in her intelligence and scope of interest, and in her evocative ability to capture a single consciousness, all while seemingly re-inventing the novel form. Sight is a beautiful debut, and Greengrass is an important new voice in fiction
A very intriguing, challenging novel . . . very moving
I honestly can't remember the last time I read a novel so near to perfection, so full of grace. With every page I was in awe of the author's sense of pace, her attention to nuance, the acuity of feeling and clarity of reflection
The author of an award-winning short story collection, An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It, Greengrass adapts to the novel format with enviable flexibility . . . Greengrass writes stunningly about the experience of pregnancy and motherhood
As a meditation on parenthood, grief and the awareness that knowledge can be both wondrous and terrifying, Sight is an exceptionally accomplished debut
An exceptional debut novel . . . The prose is unsentimental, measured, breathtaking in its elegance, but never precious or mannered. Paragraphs over several pages, page-long sentences, move with extraordinary cadence towards devastatingly bathetic or utterly heartbreaking conclusions . . . And the book is also about, in part, the necessity of that separation; the ongoing and ever-unfinished coming into being of a person. It brings all these things together, loosely and delicately, in a way that is unexpectedly and remarkably moving
There are echoes of WG Sebald and Rachel Cusk in this thoughtful, digressive style that swirls together the historical and the personal, but Greengrass's questing intellect and elegant prose are all her own
I read Sight with so much ache and admiration. It isn't just the painful subject matter - how it feels to be both a mother and a daughter, looking in two directions at once, watching one life begin while grieving the end of another. It's the lyricism of the prose, and the way the philosophical, essayistic portions of the novel gradually take on a quality of desperation, as if they're the narrator's attempt to codify and control the chaos of the human body. In many ways Greengrass reminds me of Virginia Woolf - in her intelligence and scope of interest, and in her evocative ability to capture a single consciousness, all while seemingly re-inventing the novel form. Sight is a beautiful debut, and Greengrass is an important new voice in fiction
Greengrass is a perceptive and deep observer of human nature, one who finds incredibly beautiful and realistic ways to express the everyday life in words. The novel is a goldmine of quote-worthy passages, the sort of deep pondering you find as asides in George Eliot
A moving and contemplative account of a woman's life as she grieves for a mother lost at the cusp of adulthood, and her journey towards becoming a wife and mother herself
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