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Penguin US: Audio Spring 2016

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    9780399566615 9780698411838 Electronic book text, EPUB 9781594206863 Hardback, $37 CAD
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    Distributor: Penguin Random House Availability: On Sale Date: Jan 01, 2035 Carton Quantity: 12
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The Ecliptic
A Novel
By (author): Benjamin Wood Read by: Jane MacFarlane
9780399566608 CD-Audio English General Trade FICTION / Literary May 03, 2016
$58.00 CAD
Cancelled Duration: 870 minutes Penguin Audio
From the award-winning author of The Bellwether Revivals, a bewitching novel set on a mysterious island, where artists strive to recover their lost gifts—and where nothing is quite as it seems.

This beautifully haunting novel transfixes us from its first sentence: “He was just seventeen when he came to Portmantle, a runaway like the rest of us, except there was a harrowed quality about this boy that we had not seen before in any of the newcomers.” Situated on a Turkish island, Portmantle might be the strangest, most exclusive artists’ colony around. Its brilliant residents linger for years, all expenses paid and living under assumed names. Relieved of the burdens of time and ego, they are free to create. Cloaked in secrecy, it feels like the end of the world.

Elspeth Conroy (aka “Knell”) is a Scottish painter who has been at Portmantle for a decade, a refugee from the hectic London art scene. Her fellow longtimers include Quickman, a novelist whose sole book became a classic and paralyzed his muse; MacKinney, a playwright who left behind her family; and Pettifer, an architect obsessing over an unfinished cathedral. In his first novel, Benjamin Wood rendered the mysteries of music with unusual power; in The Ecliptic, he masterfully conjures a painter at work—concocting rare luminous pigments, attacking the canvas, conceiving and abandoning projects.

The hermetic world at Portmantle shatters when the 17-year-old Fullerton arrives at the gates, his provenance and talents unknown. As Knell tries to find answers, she delves into her own past, and we see the path that led her to this place: Her intimate bond with her gruff drunk of a mentor; her early successes and crushing failures; a sortie across the Atlantic and into the psychiatrist’s office; and a grand commission of astronomical significance.

What is “the Ecliptic,” and how does it relate to the life Elspeth left behind? This gorgeous puzzle of a novel is as cunningly constructed as it is emotionally piercing, and the effect is nothing short of electrifying.

Story Locale: London, Turkey

BENJAMIN WOOD was born in 1981 and grew up in northwest England. A former Commonwealth Scholar (receiving his MFA from the University of British Columbia), he is now a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. His debut novel, The Bellwether Revivals, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2012 and the Commonwealth Book Prize 2013, and won one of France’s foremost literary awards, Le Prix du Roman Fnac, in 2014. He lives with his wife in London.

Author Residence: London, UK

Marketing: Shelf Awareness, NetGalley, and Goodreads promotions and giveaways

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Publicity: Tie in with Penguin Press’s plans:

Feature on PRH Audio website and in Audio e-newsletter

National media campaign

Seed early with print and online reviewers

National and regional review coverage

Fiction media and book page print features

Literary fiction blog and podcast campaign

Pitch trade magazine features



Author Website: www.benjamin-wood.com/

Author Social Media: twitter.com/bwoodauthor

Advance praise for Benjamin Wood:

“Here is such an intense evocation of the hell of creativity that one might begin to wonder whether art is even worth it. Well, yes, it is, case in point being the novel itself: whatever debilitating mental toll it must have taken on Benjamin Wood to sustain such vividness and intelligence for its entire length, we can all be grateful for the result. Terrific.” - Ned Beauman, author of The Teleportation Accident and Glow

“A mark of the elegance and conviction of Wood’s writing is that he absorbs the reader entirely in whichever setting he takes you to…Intricate and ambitious, with shades of Kazuo Ishiguro and Eleanor Catton.” - The Bookseller, featured interview

“Exceptional and beguiling, never less than in the ascendance from the first page to the last. The kind of book that will keep revealing its powers for a long time to come.” - David Whitehouse, author of Bed and Mobile Library

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