1998, Wellington. A series of catastrophic earthquakes has left the city destroyed. Returning to the ruin from London, a New Zealand writer explores the devastation, compelled to find out for himself what has become of the city he left years ago. As he drifts through the desolate streets, home now to the shell-shocked and dispossessed, he finds among the survivors a woman and a child. And although they are haunted, hostile and broken, the strangers feel eerily familiar to him: as if they promise the answers to the mysteries he once swore to leave behind.
A layered meditation on love, history, creativity and loss, The Pale Northis an audacious and disarming novel, a forensic journey into one writer's short but singularly brilliant body of work.
Invoking W. G. Sebald, Julian Barnes and Lloyd Jones, Hamish Clayton's new novel is every bit as visionary and intrepid as its award-winning predecessor, Wulf.