Author(s): Sarah Perry
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award Winner of the East Anglian Book of the Year Award 2014 One hot summer's day, John Cole decides to leave his life behind. He shuts up the bookshop no one ever comes to and drives out of London. When his car breaks down and he becomes lost on an isolated road, he goes looking for help, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand but dilapidated house. Its residents welcome him with open arms - but there's more to this strange community than meets the eye. They all know him by name, they've prepared a room for him, and claim to have been waiting for him all along. As nights and days pass John finds himself drawn into a baffling menagerie. There is Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings full of child-like wonder and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah - a faithless former preacher haunted by the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. Who are these people? And what do they intend for John? Elegant, gently sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel by a brilliant new voice.
What if you walked out of your life only to find another one was already waiting for you?
Shortlisted for EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards - Fiction Category 2014. Long-listed for Guardian First Book Award 2014.
What makes this novel truly remarkable is its unique vision ... will haunt readers long after the final page -- John Burnside Guardian Just occasionally you pick up a novel that is inexplicably gripping from the first page - and Perry's debut is one of them -- Phil Barker Sunday Times An original and haunting book ... a mix of elegant, alluring, but subtly sinister characters ... a talented writer Daily Mail A dark, marvellous novel ... Perry evokes the oppressive atmosphere in precise, elegant prose ... This mesmeric quality recalls Sebald's writing, but Gothic-smudged ... It is not good for a first novel, just very good full stop. So pour yourself a cool drink and bask in a dazzling new writing talent. -- Catherine Blyth Sunday Telegraph After Me Comes the Flood is written in deceptively straightforward prose that gradually yields a profound sense of foreboding. A house and the mysteries it contains; a disconcerting, dark reservoir to which everyone's attention returns; and a most unsettling sense of place - all made me think of Fowles' The Magus, Maxwell's The Chateau, and Woolf's To The Lighthouse. This is a book perhaps most deeply about the unknowability of others and of oneself - and one that, while highly disorienting and eerie, is also intensely warm. I loved it. -- Katherine Angel, author of UNMASTERED Perry's debut successfully creates an air of real eeriness and tension ... the real pleasure here is in her insightful and convincing depiction of family. -- Lesley McDowell Glasgow Herald Impossible to put down Image Magazine
Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979, and grew up in a deeply religious home. Kept apart from contemporary culture, she spent her childhood immersed in classic literature, Victorian hymns and the King James Bible. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. She lives in Norwich.