Spill Simmer Falter Wither (Hardcover)

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"spill simmer falter wither is Sara Baume’s beautifully written first novel. Dysfunctional human Ray impulsively connects with rescue dog One Eye. The man-dog relationship allows Ray to finally see his life for what it is-living in the shadow of a long-dead, uncaring father. Man and dog are forced to flee when One Eye attacks another dog and they set off on a rambling road trip. Baume’s prose is constructed in such a way that we are never sure if Ray is speaking to One Eye or to us-and this is the magic of great storytelling."--Reviewed by Jennifer

— From Jennifer Recommends


A debut novel already praised as "unbearably poignant and beautifully told" (Eimear McBride) this captivating story follows -- over the course of four seasons -- a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog.

It is springtime, and two outcasts -- a man ignored, even shunned by his village, and the one-eyed dog he takes into his quiet, tightly shuttered life -- find each other, by accident or fate, and forge an unlikely connection. As their friendship grows, their small, seaside town suddenly takes note of them, falsely perceiving menace where there is only mishap; the unlikely duo must take to the road. Gorgeously written in poetic and mesmerizing prose, Spill Simmer Falter Wither has already garnered wild support in its native Ireland, where the Irish Times pointed to Baume's "astonishing power with language" and praised it as "a novel bursting with brio, braggadocio and bite." It is also a moving depiction of how -- over the four seasons echoed in the title -- a relationship between fellow damaged creatures can bring them both comfort. One of those rare stories that utterly, completely imagines its way into a life most of us would never see, it transforms us not only in our understanding of the world, but also of ourselves.

About the Author

Sara Baume studied fine art before earning a Master's in Creative Writing. Her short fiction has appeared in the The Moth, The Stinging Fly, the Irish Independent, and others. She won the 2014 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award and the 2015 Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. She lives in Cork with her two dogs.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544716193
ISBN-10: 0544716191
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Pages: 288
Language: English