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In her garden, ensconced in the lush vegetation of the Western Cape, Clare Wald, world-rewned author, mother, critic, takes up her pen and confronts her life. Sam Leroux has returned to South Africa to embark upon a project that will establish his reputation - he is to write Clare's biography. But how honest is she prepared to be? Was she complicit in crimes lurking in South Africa's past; is she an accomplice or a victim? Are her crimes against her family real or imagined? As Sam and Clare turn over the events of her life, she begins to seek reconciliation, absolution. But in the stories she weaves and the truth just below the surface of her shimmering prose, lie Sam's own ghosts. Absolution shines light on contemporary South Africa and the long dark shadow of Apartheid, the elusive nature of truth and self-perception and the mysterious alchemy of the creative process. It is a debut of extraordinary strength and power.
Patrick Flanery was born in California in 1975 and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After earning a BFA in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts he worked for three years in the film industry before moving to the UK, where he completed a doctorate in Twentieth-Century English Literature at the University of Oxford. As well as publishing scholarly articles on British and South African literature and film in a number of academic journals, he has written for Slightly Foxed and The Times Literary Supplement. He lives in London.
Short-listed for Ondaatje Prize 2013. Long-listed for Desmond Elliott Prize 2012.