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How to Paint a Dead Man

by Sarah Hall

Set in Italy and London, this lovely story spans the life and death of a painter. It introduces a varied cast of characters all who have been influenced, in some way, by the artist and his work. Weaving four strands of narrative are together in a fascinating way this is a book which paints pictures with words.

Extract

His left leg has been fed into a slim channel between two boulders. The roller has come to halt above his ankle, no, against his ankle. He has been cast awkwardly to the side and is half kneeling. There is the painful realisation that the accident is bad, then just pain - not ordinary pain, but something vivid and coruscating, as first his shocked silence, then his nauseous whimper, then his primal bellowing attests to. And though an instinctual physiological directive is telling him to get out of the trench, to extract himself pronto from the bite of rock jaws, he cannot.

Parallels

Noctures by Kazuo Ishiguro
 

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