A mysterious manuscript falls into a bed-ridden writer's lap in this novel of broken bones, syrian folktales, and plummets of all varieties. In If Clara, nobody stands on firm ground.
Daisy, an author confined to her home, her leg in a cast from hip to ankle, receives a parcel containing the manuscript of a novel about a Syrian refugee, and is asked to pose as its writer. Julia, a curator of installation art, has no idea that her sister, Clara, has written a novel. However, she does know that Clara suffers from a debilitating mental illness that renders her wildly unpredictable. And Maurice's life is changed by a pair of binoculars welded to the wall of Julia's gallery. These stories collide in a most unexpected way.
Martha Baillie's most recent novel, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel (Tin House), received wide acclaim and was an O Magazine editors' pick. She lives in Toronto.
Praise for The Search for Heinrich Schlögel:
?Baillie delivers a work of magical realism that captures the experience of postcolonial guilt ... and gives voice to a silenced past.' - Publishers Weekly, starred review
?Martha Baillie has written a timeless masterpiece. Every page is full of haunting wonderment. Truly, I know of no novel quite like it - it's a blessing. The Search for Heinrich Schlögel has dreamlike locutions, it tells the most unusual tale, and it brings the margins of the world to us with photographic immediacy.' - Howard Norman, author of Next Life Might Be Kinder
?How can we be entangled in the world, in history, and live a moral life? ... Martha Baillie's new novel is entirely original ... alive and visionary.' - Madeleine Thien
'Clara, despite her volatility, is the novel's linchpin - a creative choice that speaks to Baillie's characteristic cerebral playfulness as well as her allegiance to characters held on society's margins ... Baillie's empathetic portrayal of Clara shows a mind following its own kind of logic. There's a lighter tone to this novel, so it might surprise readers how much it has to say about creativity and the fractured self.' - Globe and Mail
'If Clara finds Baillie at the top of her game with this complex, deftly layered new novel ... a richly rewarding read to sink into for a solitary afternoon.' - Toronto Star
'In clean prose made buoyant with whimsy and allegory, Baillie tells of the bonds between sisters, daughters, and mothers, between friends, and between lovers of literature. If Clara is ultimately an intergenerational novel whose deeply felt characters speak to the universality of suffering while raising challenging questions about entitlement.' - Quill & Quire, starred review