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Asylum Road
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The taut, knife-sharp, compulsive second novel by the critically-acclaimed author Olivia Sudjic, for fans of FIRST LOVE, DAYS OF ABANDONMENT and HOT MILK

About the Author

Olivia Sudjic is a writer living in London. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Financial Times, Guardian and the Paris Review. She is the author of Exposure, a personal essay, and Sympathy, her debut novel, which was a finalist for the Salerno European Book Award, the Collyer Bristow Prize and has been translated into five languages.

Reviews

Sudjic seems to be writing not with words but somehow with the absences between them. This book feels like the breakdown not only of a character but of, as you read, the reader. I will go wherever she takes me. A phenomenal book * Daisy Johnson *
A caustic, claustrophobic - and distinctly European - reinvention of the road novel ... Sudjic is a cartographer of menace * Times Literary Supplement *
Asylum Road is also the work of a literary voice maturing...it is taut and propulsive...masterful and wicked * Daily Telegraph *
Confident and timely ... Asylum Road shows Sudjic confidently expanding the reach of her fiction, with an unerring instinct for asking timely questions * Observer *
A fragmented, unsettling story, and an interesting meditation on modern relationships, families, guilt and what happens when escape starts to feel more like exile * Independent, Books of the Week *
Admirable ... A novel pervaded by a genuinely unnerving sense of anxiety, dread and unease ... Reaches a gloriously near-unhinged intensity ... As Sudjic so expertly illustrates, sometimes there's not a lot of difference between taking and losing control. * Financial Times *
Sly, unsettling and supremely accomplished * i news *
I adored this beautifully written, powerful exploration of how past trauma is never far from the surface, however deeply one tries to stifle it ... Deep, accomplished and often thought-provoking * Daily Mail *
A smart and sensitively layered story ... Sudjic's novel is full of raw emotion and visceral description ... This is a book about the gaps in our collective experience, and the tension that fills them. It's about memory and identity and things left unsaid * Spectator *
Haunting and haunted ... Sudjic coolly executes a climax as treacherous and unexpected as a hairpin bend. * Economist *
An early treat * Independent, The books to look out for in 2021 *
Haunting and haunted ... Sudjic coolly executes a climax as treacherous and unexpected as a hairpin bend * Economist *
Sudjic's writing is hers alone and in this unsettling, disturbing and piercing novel, she tells the unravelling of Anya as she faces up to a past she's tried to run from and a present that demands too much * Stylist, Best New Fiction 2021 *
A vivid picture of disintegration and suppressed trauma * Daily Mail *
Chilling * Elle, Your 2021 Reading List *
Asylum Road is a slick, treacly delight - by turns, blackly comic and heart-shattering. There is often the sense that the real story is happening between the words on the page, like the memory of a dream tucked in some nook of the mind, just out of reach but tantalisingly close if you could just angle yourself correctly to reach it * Culture Whisper *
Carries echoes of Deborah Levy and Rachel Cusk. It'sa book about love and history, trauma and identity * Observer, Fiction to look out for in 2021 *
The hot summer builds to a startling climax * Grazia, The 30 Best Books We're Looking Forward To Reading in 2021 *
Carries echoes of Deborah Levy and Rachel Cusk. It's a book about love and history, trauma and identity * Observer, Fiction to look out for in 2021 *
A brilliant, scalding novel that is both intimate and restless, restrained and unpredictable. Sudjic's prose is as elegant and searching as ever; her evocation of trauma and longing is sharp, intricately layered, impossible to forget * Megan Hunter *
Looks at what happens when love and social conventions collide * Evening Standard, A look ahead to the best new books in 2021 *
Sudjic's writing is hers alone and in this unsettling, disturbing and piercing novel, she tells the unravelling of Anya as she faces up to a past she's tried to run from and a present that demands too much * Stylist, Best New Fiction 2021 *
I can safely say that no one conjures anxiety like Olivia Sudjic. She has written a strange and sophisticated novel, and the experience of inhabiting the mind of her narrator is both terrifying and numinous * Avni Doshi *
Looks at what happens when love and social conventions collide * Evening Standard, A look ahead to the best new books in 2021 *
This early part of the year is a fertile time for several millennial writers who have already established themselves as names to watch. Olivia Sudjic's new novel Asylum Road follows her success with 2017's Sympathy * Financial Times, What to read in 2021 *
[A]n impressive novel; Sudjic's cool affect and sense of detachment provides cover for a growing sense of urgency and alienation * Five Books, Notable Novels of Spring 2021 *
The hot summer builds to a startling climax * Grazia, The 30 Best Books We're Looking Forward To Reading in 2021 *
Olivia Sudjic's powerful novel pulses with the strange, fragmented, apocalyptic rhythms of our uneasy present and uncertain future. Visceral and tender, brutal and unspeakably alive, Asylum Road digs into the soft heart of our hard times, into intimacies upended by the anthropocene and pulled taught by omnipresent crisis * Alexandra Kleeman *
If positive reviews from the likes of Avni Doshi and Daisy Johnson don't sway you, Sudjic's unsettling, but nonetheless brilliant prose should * Buro, Books to look forward to in 2021 *
[A] piercingly clear look at a modern world grappling with immigration and history in post-Brexit Britain, through the prism of a couple on the verge of making life-changing decisions. Exploring otherness and the borders between men and women, nations and families, it's edgy, unsettling and yet incredibly sensitive * The National, Anticipated books to look out for this year *
This early part of the year is a fertile time for several millennial writers who have already established themselves as names to watch. Olivia Sudjic's new novel Asylum Road follows her success with 2017's Sympathy * Financial Times, What to read in 2021 *
Sudjic singularly conveys a feeling so specific to our time - a feeling only her prose can name, and which the reader will instantly recognize. The unsettled, unsettling atmosphere of this book resonates perfectly with its larger states of migration - to or from one's history, one's nation, one's loved ones; away from or towards one's darkest impulses. Smart, edgy and exacting, Asylum Road leaves so much unsaid, and shows us the consequences of that' * Caoilinn Hughes *
Chilling * Elle, Your 2021 Reading List *
Bold, astonishing and original. Sudjic explores relationships in post-Brexit Britain with her trademark precision and lyricism * Zeba Talkhani *
[A] piercingly clear look at a modern world grappling with immigration and history in post-Brexit Britain, through the prism of a couple on the verge of making life-changing decisions. Exploring otherness and the borders between men and women, nations and families, it's edgy, unsettling and yet incredibly sensitive * The National, Anticipated books to look out for this year *
An impressive novel; Sudjic's cool affect and sense of detachment provides cover for a growing sense of urgency and alienation' * Five Books, Notable Novels of Spring 2021 *
Asylum Road is an exceptionally intelligent, sensitive, and thoughtful novel about 21st century life. With subtlety and control, Sudjic powerfully examines the consequences of Brexit, immigration, and historical trauma. With the energy of a thriller and an emotionally raw finale reminiscent of Elena Ferrante, Asylum Road is a very special book indeed * Julianne Pachico *
Writing with the offbeat intensity of Deborah Levy, Sudjic offers a discomforting dissection of one woman's fractured identity. Atmospheric and unflinching, Asylum Road reveals how the places we seek refuge can ultimately prove to be as toxic as the traumas we flee * Ruth Gilligan *
If positive reviews from the likes of Avni Doshi and Daisy Johnson don't sway you, Sudjic's unsettling, but nonetheless brilliant prose should * Buro, Books to look forward to in 2021 *
A swelter of trauma and neurosis, Asylum Road is a thrilling, bruising read. Sudjic's prose scythes through political, sexual and class constructs to expose the cruel and fatuous power plays that can undo us at any moment * Shiromi Pinto *
Asylum Road masterfully probes the tensions between the identities we inherit and identities we craft. Sudjic's writing coagulates feelings of anxiety and insecurity into an embodied, wrought and visceral experience. Asylum Road is that rare novel that dares to probe at uncomfortable questions without flinching from the unwelcome answers that are revealed * Alex Allison *
Electrifying ... A taut, disquieting story ... In precise, elliptical prose, Sudjic paints a powerful portrait of a psyche damaged by war and family schisms. A meditation on identity and belonging, Asylum Road speaks to our unsettled times * Culture Whisper *

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