Free Shipping on Order Over $60
AfterPay Available
The Illness Lesson

The Illness Lesson

by Clare Beams

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 04/02/2020

23%
OFF
RRP  $29.99 $23.25

Sarah Waters meets The Girls in this haunting, wickedly perceptive debut set in an all-girl school and seeking to answer the timeless question: Who has authority over a woman's body?

It is 1871. At the farm of Samuel Hood and his daughter, Caroline, a mysterious flock of red birds has descended. Samuel, whose fame as a philosopher is waning, takes the birds’ appearance as an omen that the time is ripe for his newest venture. He will start a school for young women, guiding their intellectual development as he has so carefully guided his daughter's. Despite Caroline's misgivings, Samuel's vision – revolutionary, as always; noble, as always; full of holes, as always – takes shape.

It's not long before the students begin to manifest bizarre symptoms: rashes, seizures, verbal tics, night wanderings. In desperate, the school turns to the ministering of a sinister physician – just as Caroline's body, too, begins its betrayal. As the girls' condition worsens, Caroline must confront the all-male, all-knowing authorities of her world, the ones who insist the voices of the sufferers are unreliable.

Written in intensely vivid prose and brimming with insight, The Illness Lesson is a powerful exploration of women’s bodies, women's minds and the time-honoured tradition of doubting both.

ISBN:
9780857526328
9780857526328
Category:
Historical Fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
04-02-2020
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
288
Dimensions (mm):
234x153x21mm
Weight:
0.35kg

"Stunningly good - a brainy page-turner that's gorgeous and frightening in equal measure. The Illness Lesson dazzled me."
Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks

"The Illness Lesson is a brilliant, suspenseful, beautifully-executed psychological thriller. With power, subtlety, and keen intelligence, Clare Beams has somehow crafted a tale that feels like both classical ghost story and like a modern (and very timely) scream of female outrage. I stayed up all night to finish reading it, and I can still feel its impact thrumming through my mind and body. A masterpiece."
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love 

"Clare Beams' writing has a hypnotic quality. Her images are rendered with inventive, piercing clarity (apples knocking together like knees!), yet she is also doing something quite special with rhythm and pacing, creating a subtle soundscape that completely envelops you in the narrative. Reading The Illness Lesson I experienced the exquisite sense of vertigo that is only ever sparked by a writer who's so in control of her story...That bond of trust did not disappoint: The Illness Lesson shines with generosity and rage, and I was both chilled to the bone by it, and felt comforted and held."
Livia Franchini, author of Shelf Life

"The Illness Lesson truly shook me. In prose so sharp it cuts through the decades and arrives at the present day, Clare Beams takes a shocking moment out of true history, and brings it to life. You want to know how horrifying things happened while decent people looked on and did nothing? Read this novel. I believed every nuance of these characters’ thoughts, the conflicts waging war inside their own minds, their devastation, and their courage. I was immensely moved by this story, and the people who populate its pages."
Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

"Beams takes risk after risk in this, her first novel, and they all seem to pay off. Her ventriloquizing of the late 19th century, her delicate-as-lace sentences, and the friction between the unsettling thinking of the period and its 21st century resonances make for an electrifying read. A satisfyingly strange novel from the one-of-a-kind Beams"
Kirkus

Clare Beams

Clare Beams' short story collection was published in October 2016. It won the Kirkus Best Debut and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Clare lives in Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Centre for the Arts. 

This item is In Stock in our Sydney warehouse and typically sent from our warehouse within 2 - 3 working days.

Once sent we will send you a Shipping Notification which includes online tracking.

Please check the estimated delivery times below for your region, for after your order is despatched from our warehouse:

ACT Metro  2 working days

NSW Metro  2 working days

NSW Rural  2 - 3 working days

NSW Remote  2 - 5 working days

NT Metro  3 - 6 working days

NT Remote  4 - 10 working days

QLD Metro  2 - 4 working days

QLD Rural  2 - 5 working days

QLD Remote  2 - 7 working days

SA Metro  2 - 5 working days

SA Rural  3 - 6 working days

SA Remote  3 - 7 working days

TAS Metro  3 - 6 working days

TAS Rural  3 - 6 working days

VIC Metro  2 - 3 working days

VIC Rural  2 - 4 working days

VIC Remote  2 - 5 working days

WA Metro  3 - 6 working days

WA Rural  4 - 8 working days

WA Remote  4 - 12 working days

 

Express Post is available if ALL items in your Shopping Cart are listed as 'In Stock'.

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review The Illness Lesson.