Author(s): Max Porter
From the award-winning author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers comes a dark, playful, propulsive novel about an ethereal young boy who attracts the attention of a mythical, menacing force. There's a village an hour from London. It's no different from many others today: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, some public housing, and a few larger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs. This village belongs to the people who live in it, to the land and to the land's past. It also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a fabled figure local schoolchildren used to draw green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth, who awakens after a glorious nap. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to its symphony of talk: drunken confessions, gossip traded on the street corner, fretful conversations in living rooms. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny. With Lanny, Max Porter extends the potent and magical space he created in Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. This brilliant novel will enrapture readers with its anarchic energy, with its bewitching tapestry of fabulism and domestic drama. Lanny is a ringing defense of creativity, spirit, and the generative forces that often seem under assault in the contemporary world, and it solidifies Porter's reputation as one of the most daring and sensitive writers of his generation.
Lanny, just Porter’s second novel, marks him as one of the most fearless and exciting contemporary voices in fiction. In the hands of a less skilled writer, Lanny’s polyphony of voices and perspectives could be confusing but his skill in bringing them together is nothing short of breathtaking. This is a thoroughly modern story, a child goes missing with an attendant media hullabaloo, but Porter also brings his wildly inventive mind to bear on our fraught relationship with nature, modern England and growing old with dignity . Highly recommended. GAVIN
Longlisted Booker Prize 2019