This beautiful, melancholy ghost story will captivate every discerning reader; Alexander Cleave, actor, has left his career and his family behind and banished himself to his childhood home. He wants to retire from life, but finds this impossible in a house brimming with presences, some ghostly some undeniably human. Memories, anxiety for the future and more particularly for his beloved but troubled daughter, all conspire to distract him from his dreaming retirement. This humane and beautifully written story tells the tragic tale of a man, intelligent, preposterous and vulnerable, who in attempting to bring the performance to a close, finds himself travelling inevitably towards a devastating denouement.
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970. His other books are Nightspawn, Birchwood, Doctor Copernicus (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1976), Kepler (which was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1981), The Newton Letter (which was filmed for Channel 4), Mefisto, The Book of Evidence (shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize and winner of the 1998 Guinness Peat Aviation Award), Ghosts, Athena, The Untouchable, Eclipse and Shroud. He has received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation. The Sea won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2005. John Banville lives in Dublin.