From the best-selling author of Longbourn, a stunning new novel that follows an unnamed writer - Samuel Beckett - whose life and extraordinary literary gift are permanently shaped in the forge of war.
When war breaks out in Europe in 1939, a young unknown writer journeys from his home in neutral Ireland to conflict-ridden Paris and is drawn into the maelstrom. With him we experience the hardships yet stubborn vibrancy at the heart of Europe during the Nazis' rise to power, his friendships with James Joyce and other luminaries, his quietly passionate devotion to the Frenchwoman who will become his lifelong companion, his secret work for the French Resistance and narrow escapes from the Gestapo, his flight from occupied Paris to the countryside, and the rubble of his life after liberation. And through it all we are witness to workings of a uniquely brilliant mind struggling to create a language that will express his experience of this shattered world. Here is a remarkable story of survival and determination and a portrait of the extremes of human experience alchemized into timeless art.