From the publisher:
‘An extraordinary, wise, funny, adventurous and hallucinogenic book that combines fiction with gleefully warped fact. Kavenna explores the complex nature of reality and perception with vast imaginative energy and a generous spirit.’ A. L. Kennedy Eliade Jencks knows the only reason people call at midnight is to tell you someone has died. Professor Solete was one of her few friends. Perhaps her only friend. But his friends don’t think much of her – a vague, scruffy waitress, impatient with philosophical onanism at parties. Naturally, they’re horrified to find out that Solete has left her his Field Guide to Reality. The Guide has taken on legendary proportions among the celebrated minds of Oxford. The work of a lifetime, it purportedly advances Solete’s great philosophical Theory of Everything and even defines the very nature of reality. A big, important book. Only, they can’t find it. So, baffled, grieving, and slightly annoyed, Eliade sets out on a quest for the missing manuscript, and falls down a rabbit-hole of metaphysical possibility. From a psychotropic tea party to the Priests of the Quantum Realm, she trips her way through Solete’s wonderland reality and, without quite meaning to, bursts open the boundaries of her own. In this clever, darkly ironic and moving novel, Granta Best of Young British author Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and dread wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the disappearance of those we love. Beautiful original drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting tale of bringing light to an empty room.