A book of voices, landscapes and seasons, Ann Quin’s newly republished novel mirrors the multiplicity of meanings of the very word ‘passage’—of music, of time, and of life itself. A woman, accompanied by her lover, searches for her lost brother, who may have been a revolutionary, and who may have been tortured, imprisoned or killed. Roving through a Mediterranean landscape, they live out their entangled existences, reluctant to give up, afraid of the outcome.
Reflecting the schizophrenia of its characters, the novel splits into alternating passages, switching between the sister and her lover’s perspective. The lover’s passages are also fractured, taking the form of a diary with notes alongside the entries. An intricate system of repetition and relation builds across the passages. ‘All seasons passed through before the pattern formed, collected in parts.’
Erotic and tense, in Quin’s compelling third novel the author allowed her writing freer rein than before, and created a work ahead of its time: her most poetic, evocative and mysterious novel yet.
Praise for Ann Quin
"After her death in 1973 at only 37, Ann Quin’s star first dipped beneath the horizon, disappearing from view entirely, before rising slowly but persistently, to the point that it’s now attaining the septentrional heights it always merited. I suspect that she’ll eventually be viewed, alongside BS Johnson and Alexander Trocchi, as one of the few mid-century British novelists who actually, in the long term, matter."—Tom McCarthy
"One of our greatest ever novelists." —Lee Rourke, The Guardian
"Too little has been written about Brightonian novelist Ann Quin since her death."—Juliet Jacques, The New Statesman
"Quin works over a small area with the finest of tools... every page, every word gives evidence of her care and workmanship." —New York Times
"Despite ongoing rumours of a B.S. Johnson revival, I feel our attention could be more usefully directed towards Ann Quin." —Stewart Home, in 69 Things to do with a Dead Princess
"Quin’s prose never falters; it’s stunning." —Caitlin Youngquist, The Paris Review
"The most naturally and delicately gifted novelist of her generation." —The Scotsman
"Quin understood she was on to something new and she took herself seriously, in the right way; she had a serious sense of her literary purpose." —Deborah Levy