Garth Greenwell

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21 January 2021
240 pages

‘This is an exceptional work of fiction, which places Greenwell among the very best contemporary novelists’ The i

Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, stirs with hope and impending upheaval. Soviet buildings crumble, unrelenting winds lash the city, political protesters flood the streets with song.

Amid this disquiet, a young American teacher prepares to leave the place he’s come to call home. In a reflective mood, heightened by his imminent departure, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each revealing startling insights about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit and with ourselves.

Written in precise, elegant prose, Cleanness is an almost unbearably poignant book about a man whose life, like so many, has been transformed by the discovery and loss of love.

Chosen as a book of the year in the New Yorker, Daily Telegraph, Observer, New York Times, BBC, TIME and Irish Times.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2020.
Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize.

Greenwell displays an extraordinary skill at handling time . . . A piece of bravura writing . . . A style that is both clinically precise and fiercely sensual . . . Exquisite

Colm Tóibín, New York Times Book Review

A brilliant examination of love and intimacy

SJ Watson, The Times

Intense, emotional and super-sexy

Sunday Telegraph