Out of This World

Graham Swift, Author
Graham Swift, Author Poseidon Press $16.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-65827-4
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Any doubt that Swift, whose Waterland was nominated for England's Booker Prize, is one of the very best young British novelists should be dispelled by this beautifully written, stinging study of a family torn apart by guilt and anger. Harry Beech is a renowned photographer who specializes in recording the horrifying and grotesque; now pursuing his occupation from airplanes, he prefers to stay literally above the fray, an observer shielded by his lens. His estranged daughter Sophie, although grown and living in New York, has never forgiven him for his emotionally aloof behavior. As she struggles, with a psychiatrist's help, to keep from crumbling under the weight of her loneliness and resentment, she hears from Harry, who wants to reconcile. In chapters that alternate their voices, the author unlayers the events that created their riftparticularly the terrorist slaying of Sophie's grandfather, an arms manufacturerwhile exposing the different, equally tragic common past that may eventually reunite them. This is a powerful meditation on global and familial violence, written in prose of unerring grace and emotional precision. Paperback rights to Pocket. (September)
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