08.09.11 | Charlotte Williams - The Bookseller
The story opens in the capital in the summer of 2010 as Catherine Gehrig, conservator at the Swinburn Museum, learns of the death of her colleague and long-term lover. As she is mistress to a married man she has to try to deal discreetly with her grief.
Meanwhile, restoring a 19th-century automaton, she uncovers the story of an estranged Englishman who travelled to Germany in the 1850s to commission a “magical amusement” for his consumptive son.
Senior editor Angus Cargill said the novel was “classic Peter Carey”, with “a superbly worked twin narrative, which more than lives up to its beautiful title as it follows the stories of these two characters, from different times, as they are forced to confront the mysteries of life and death.
“After the huge success of Parrot and Olivier in America, it is exciting to have another such strong novel,” Cargill said.
Page said: “Peter Carey is one of the world’s greatest living writers. It’s always thrilling to read and publish his work, and The Chemistry of Tears is gripping, intelligent and hugely pleasurable.”
Carey has won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction twice, in 1988 and 2001