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The Morningside

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399619899

Price: £20

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There’s the world you can see. And then there’s the one you can’t. Welcome to The Morningside.

The Morningside was once the jewel of Island City. But now the luxury high-rise is crumbling and Island City is half-underwater.

The building’s newest resident is an eleven-year-old girl, Silvia. Having arrived with only her mother, who is stubbornly secretive, Silvia knows little about the place they left behind. But her aunt, Ena, superintendent of the high-rise, delights in recounting the richly imaginative folktales of their demolished homeland to her little niece.

Suddenly Silvia’s world fills with magic and myths. Myths that seem to be coming true, when she encounters the mysterious inhabitant of the building’s penthouse, Bezi Duras, and her three massive dogs that may or may not be humans in disguise . . .

Consumed by curiosity, Silvia embarks on a mission to find out the truth about Bezi Duras, and her own haunted past.

‘Obreht has prodigious talent for storytelling’ GUARDIAN
‘A tremendously talented writer’ ANN PATCHETT


With elements of folklore and magic realism, this novel contends with interesting philosophical questions such as the relationship between superstition, guilt and grief. It is also a moving exploration of the immigrant's tale whereby the daughter must instruct her mother in their new world. An accomplished novel
Brigid O'Dea, Irish Times
The Morningside is like nothing I've read - at once playful and profound, harrowing and tender, a sparklingly original story of coming of age in a broken world
Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers
In a not-too-distant future, a young girl called Silvia becomes obsessed with an enigmatic older woman. The author of The Tiger's Wife, which won The Orange prize for Fiction in 2011, has done it again with this rich, dreamlike novel
i paper
Like all of Obreht's work, The Morningside is filled with tiny moments of acute observation and beautiful writing that will make you stop and gasp . . . you'll be thinking about it all long after you've finished reading. A magical, special book by one of our best working novelists
Lit Hub
Obreht is such an expert and generous storyteller, infusing The Morningside with the pleasures of folklore and fairy tale while simultaneously diving deep into the silences and irreconcilable contradictions in the stories we inherit about the past
Karen Russell, author of Orange World and Other Stories
This touching and inventive novel follows a young woman searching for meaning and belonging, both through her loving aunt's stories and the enigmatic resident of the building's penthouse suite
Oprah Daily
Dystopian fiction at its most unnervingly captivating - submerged highways, tree-colonised train tracks, wheeling flocks of urban cranes. But this is also an increasingly serious look at the future, both unimaginable and all too near at hand, where reasons to be hopeful are hard to come by - and yet where humanity continues to find a way
Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
Magic realism and dystopian sci-fi infuse a powerfully imagined tale of exile, belonging and, ultimately, hope
Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday
Obreht is a novelist of great skill and warmth, for whom the ancient forms of storytelling - folk tales, myths and legends - retain all their capacity to explain and mystify, soothe and terrify . . . Though The Morningside could be called dystopian, to this reader it feels hopeful in the way it imagines the near future . . . more about the ways we pull together than the ways we fall apart
As in her previous richly imagined and profoundly insightful novels . . . Obreht writes at the crossroads of myth and history, but here with a twist as she envisions a catastrophic tomorrow in which rampaging forces of nature and human atrocities intensify in impact and scope. . . . A bewitchingly atmospheric, psychologically lush, and deeply knowing tale of ancient sorrows and coalescing crises, courage and fortitude
Booklist (starred review)
The dreamlike novel draws on elements of folklore and fairy tales for a narrative set eerily close to present day that explores environmental collapse and human resilience
Obreht is offering a cautionary vision of what our future might look like, but she's also asking questions that are as old as storytelling. What do we want to tell ourselves about ourselves? What do we try to hide from ourselves? And what's the cost of our lives?
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Imagine a Ballardian dystopia injected with a double dose of magic realism, so that the pages seem to glow. . . . An ideal novel in which all is invented and everything is true. I loved it
Ed Park, author of Same Bed Different Dreams
Fresh and immensely gripping, The Morningside is a rich saga of migration and the search for belonging, bravely imagining our capacity for survival and love in an uncertain future. . . . A stunning achievement
Claire Vaye Watkins, author of I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
I marveled at the subtle beauty and precision of Obreht's prose. . . Read in the context of today's conflicts and injustices, climate emergencies, and political and racial divisions - together more dystopian than any dystopian novel - the book surprised me most with its undercurrent of hope
Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers, The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)
I marveled at the subtle beauty and precision of Obreht's prose. . . Read in the context of today's conflicts and injustices, climate emergencies, and political and racial divisions-together more dystopian than any dystopian novel-the book surprised me most with its undercurrent of hope
Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers, The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)
This novel is an ingenious, inventive coming-of-age story. Very moving with a mystery at its heart
Adele Parks, Platinum