Wish You Were Here
A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction
On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton--once a Devon farmer, now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park--receives the news that his brother, Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in combat in Iraq. For Jack and his wife, Ellie, this will have unexpected, far-reaching effects. For Jack in particular it means a crucial journey: to receive his brother's remains and to confront his most secret, troubling memories.
A hauntingly intimate, deeply compassionate story about things that touch and test our human core, Wish You Were Here also looks, inevitably, to a wider, afflicted world. Moving toward a fiercely suspenseful climax, it brilliantly transforms the stuff of headlines into a heart-wrenching personal truth.
Reviews from the UK: "Like its predecessors, most notably "Waterland "and "Last Orders, Wish You Were Here "is a book of quiet emotional integrity . . . The novel expertly explores the poignant contrast between irrepressible human hope and the constraints within which we live our finite lives." - "The Times" "An extraordinary novel . . . Novelists, being on the whole brainy people, like to write about brainy people, or make their characters better with words than they would be in real life . . . But as Swift's novels so brilliantly prove, just because someone doesn't have a way with words doesn't mean they can't experience deep emotion, or be powerfully moved by the forces of history and time . . . I doubt there is a better novelist than Swift for this kind of story." - "Evening Standard" "Like Ian McEwan's "Saturday, "or Sebastian Faulks's "A Week in December, "this novel draws on events from the news pages . . . But this emotionally complex novel is not mere reportage . . . It is Swift's most intimately revelatory novel yet . . . This is a profound and powerful portrait of a nation and a man in crisis that, for all its gentle intensity, also manages to be an unputdownable read." - "Scotland on Sunday" "Wish You Were Here "is a work of wide, ambitious span . . . Recounted in pages of affecting, powerfully sober prose . . . What gives [the novel] a compelling hold is Swift's real strength, the authenticity that hallmarks his portrayals of people in crisis." - "The Sunday Times" "An acutely observed, compelling read." - "Daily Mail" "Swift is as brilliant as ever on the potency of family myth . . . This novel is often astonishingly moving." - "Sunday Express" "I cannot tell you exactly how long after I finished this book that I sat, holding it, in stunned silence for--but it was light when I finished it and dark when I put it down. Some books can do that to you. This is one of them . . .
Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of eight acclaimed novels and a collection of short stories; his most recent work is Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize (1983), and with Last Orders the Booker Prize (1996). Both novels have since been made into films. Graham Swift's work has appeared in over thirty languages.