Kirkus (starred)

Available November 27, 2018


by T. F. Powys

Death has come to the small village of Dodder to deliver a parchment with the names of two local mortals and the fatal word unclay upon it. When he loses the precious sheet, he is free of his errand. Hungry to taste the sweet fruits of human life, Mr. John Death, as he is now known, takes a holiday in Dorsetshire and rests from his reaping. The village basks in summer loveliness but teems with all the old sins (lust, avarice, greed)—as well as loving-kindness. What unfolds is a witty, metaphysical, and surprising novel aglow with beauty and moral force.

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T. F. Powys

British writer


Kirkus (starred)

Powys’s quaint village brims with eccentrics and sinners, and gentle humor exists alongside a brutal frankness about power and sex. It is hard not to succumb to the strange, animating energy in Powys’s allegorical tale about Death’s redeeming qualities.

His masterpiece.

Washington Post

This forgotten gem from 1931 is an odd and idiosyncratic story about a rural English priest who befriends Death. Powys mixes vivid descriptions of landscape with his own unique humor to write a novel unlike anything you’ve read before.

—Adam Fales, Book Culture

An esoteric genius: his books are puzzling, engaging, and illuminating, glowing with a gentle, a half eerie light, humane, ironic and wise. Powys gives pleasure and delight, unique and surprising music.

The New York Times

Heretical, scandalous, and mocking, but essentially parables.

—Jorge Luis Borges

Very few twentieth-century authors have the knack of writing convincingly of first and last things. T.F. Powys is one of them.

—John Gray, New Statesman

One of the most original of all English storytellers. T.F. Powys’s novels and the powerful Unclay ‘stand up like oaks.’