Long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award, and more than twelve years in the writing, this novel was inspired by a dream of Lindsay’s dead father, his time as a teacher in Africa, a return visit to his natal landscape in West Yorkshire, and locations revealed by a holiday in Umbria.
In a twofold narrative set in the 1960s and the 1990s, it dramatizes the quest of war-correspondent Martin Crowther to effect a reconciliation between his friend and mentor, the old Socialist radical Hal Brigshaw and his disaffected son and daughter with whom Martin has his own complicated relationships.
The Water Theatre was the inaugural non-American novel to be published as an e-book by the New York Review of Books.
“There is nothing small about this book, it is huge in scope, in energy, in heart. The compelling story and big themes are matched by exquisite, lyrical prose. The Water Theatre will linger long beyond the turning of the last page. It is difficult to remember a recent book that is at once so beautiful yet so thought-provoking.”
(Antonia Senior, The Times)
“Lindsay Clarke has an enviable command of character, time and place. He is almost Lawrentian in his ability to depict both the power and beauty of landscape, and tender or tragically fraught emotional relationships. This is a significant and ambitious work by a master of his craft.”
(William Palmer, The Independent)
“The description of the transformative ritual which brings about revelation and reconciliation for all the characters is powerful and convincing. Clarke has a gift for believably melding the visible world and human life with larger spiritual and metaphysical forces.”
(Ian Irvine, The Financial Times)