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Desmond Elliott Prize, 2022

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781408714867

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 3rd March 2022

Genre: Fiction & Related Items

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A short, exquisite novel about love, loss and making sense of the world – as heartbreakingly moving as it is outrageous and funny

‘A universal love story’ Guardian

‘Beautiful, funny, profound … read it in one glowing session’ New Statesman

‘A book for anyone who ever has been or ever will be heartbroken. So that’s everyone.’ Hollie McNish

Love builds up little by little and that’s why it makes people reach for words like root and sediment and other words to do with rocks and trees. But what about the dismantling? Does it happen that way too? Because it feels like it is happening much, much faster. And I am reaching for words like landslide and like wave and like storm …

Exquisitely crafted, wildly imaginative and as darkly funny as it is moving, Hourglass is a revolutionary love story. It turns time upside down, combs the intimate wreckage of heartbreak for something universal, and asks what it means to lose what you love.


An arresting, exquisitely told love story ... if ever a book could be read as a pilgrimage to discover what the heart finds sacred, this is it.
Irish Times
The charms of Hourglass, like those of the narrator himself, are insidious. This is a sad book that is somehow wickedly fun to read
LA Times
A book for anyone who ever has been or ever will be heartbroken. So that's everyone.
Hollie McNish
Hourglass will stay with me for a long time. Hypnotic.
Lemn Sissay
Evocative, ecstatic, and saturated with off-kilter wit, Hourglass renders heartbreak as both vividly, luminously particular, and intensely, intimately familiar. There are lines from this remarkable book etched all over my memory, indelible
Alexandra Kleeman
This is high-wire writing: a novel where every sentence counts. They add up to something profoundly honest and truly magical
Matt Thorne
This is a beautiful book: by turns tough and tender, acerbically funny and deeply humane. Keiran Goddard's mind is a marvel. We are lucky to have him.
Tabitha Lasley
Shockingly intimate and devastatingly funny, bleak and true
Luke Kennard, author of The Answer to Everything
Hourglass burnishes its ideas of love and agony with an almost mystical attention to feeling. This book truly glows in the heart of the reader
Max Porter
A universal love story
Beautiful, funny, profound ... Read it in one glowing session
New Statesman
A story of doomed romance as touching as it is abstract
Financial Times
This book is such a sneaky head f*ck - an epic poem in an ancient style about the brutalities of modern love, a masculine interrogation of feminine heartbreak, a really beautiful way to spend an evening
Lena Dunham
This book is a world. A broken dance floor of glass and gold, so rare and precious you barely believe it is real, but haunts you all day like a song. Vivid and brilliant.
Greta Bellamacina
Beautiful and very funny
Brett Anderson
A stunning reimagining of the love story ... every word shines new and true
Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure