'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.
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