Nominated by:

Liverpool City Libraries, United Kingdom

Wellington City Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Faber & Faber, UK

The Big Music

Kirsty Gunn      

2014 Longlist

‘The hills only come back the same: I don’t mind …’ begins Kirsty Gunn’s The Big Music, a novel that takes us to a new understanding of how fiction can affect us.
Presented as a collection of found papers, appendices and notes, The Big Music tells the story of John Sutherland of ‘The Grey House’, who is dying and creating in the last days of his life a musical composition that will define it. Yet he has little idea of how his tune will echo or play out into the world – and as the book moves inevitably through its themes of death and birth, change and stasis, the sound of his solitary story comes to merge and connect with those around him.
In this work of fiction, Kirsty Gunn has created something as real as music or as a dream. Not so much a novel as a place the reader comes to inhabit and to know, The Big Music is a literary work of undeniable originality and power.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Kirsty Gunn published her first novel with Faber in 1994 and since then has written five works of fiction, including short stories and a collection of fragments and meditations. Translated in over twelve territories, and widely anthologised, her books have been broadcast, turned into film and dance theatre, and are the recipient of various prizes and awards, including the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year.

A regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines, she is also Professor of Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, where she established and directs the writing programme. She lives in London and Scotland with her husband and two daughters

Librarians’ Comments

A riveting read – a challenging book that manages to captivate and illuminate.

This is a captivating, challenging novel about family, love and music that defines a life. A remarkable, innovative work of fiction, with footnotes, appendices and maps all forming part of the narrative.

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