Packshot of Double Blind by Edward St Aubyn against a deep blue background, next to a portrait of Edward St Aubyn photographed against a woodland background.

Double Blind sees Edward St Aubyn in exciting new territory, looking at some of the most pressing questions of our times – in the fields of ecology, genetics, neuroscience and psychoanalysis – through the lens of fiction. With its large cast of characters, international canvas and intellectual scope, the novel shows St Aubyn on thrilling form.

“From the very first paragraph, inside the mind of a man walking though woodland, you know you’re in the world of St Aubyn,” says Kate Harvey, deputy publishing director at Harvill Secker. “But there’s a new expansiveness, a sense of looking outward. Within the fabric of a beautifully dramatized, swiftly paced novel there are rich seams of ideas in science and philosophy, explored in ways that are compassionate, playful and deeply thought through. It’s very much about our world, now: I think it will surprise readers as well as transport them. It’s stunning.”

Double Blind focuses on a trio of close friends, Olivia, Francis and Lucy, who are bound together early in the book by love and by shocking news, and unfolds over the course of a year that is transformative for them and their circle, in ways both intimate and life-shattering. Exploring themes of inheritance, determinism and freedom, it is a book about the headlong pursuit of knowledge – for pleasure, revelation, money, sanity, or survival – and the consequences of fleeing what we already know about others and ourselves.

The jacket for Double Blind was designed by Vintage Creative Director, Suzanne Dean, and illustrated by Rosanna Webster. Harvill Secker will publish in hardback, ebook and audio on 18 March 2021.

  • Double Blind

  • From the author of the internationally acclaimed Patrick Melrose books: a major new novel exploring some of the biggest ideas and most pressing questions of our times.

    'Both moving and so funny I had to stop every few pages to wipe tears from my eyes' OBSERVER, BEST BOOKS OF 2021

    'Emotionally cogent and intellectually fascinating... I was gripped by it' Ian McEwan

    Double Blind follows three close friends and their circle through a year of extraordinary transformation. Set between London, Cap d'Antibes, Big Sur and a rewilded corner of Sussex, this thrilling, ambitious novel is as compelling about ecology, psychoanalysis, genetics and neuroscience as it is about love, fear and courage.

    When Olivia meets a new lover, Francis, just as she is welcoming her dearest friend Lucy back from New York, her life expands precipitously. Her connection to Francis, a committed naturalist living off-grid, is immediate and startling. Eager to involve Lucy in her joy, Olivia introduces the two -- but Lucy has news of her own that binds the trio unusually close. Over the months that follow, Lucy's boss Hunter, Olivia's psychoanalyst parents, and a young man named Sebastian are pulled into the friends' orbit, and not one of them will emerge unchanged.

    Expansive, playful and compassionate, Double Blind investigates themes of inheritance, determinism, freedom, consciousness, and the stories we tell about ourselves. Most of all, it is a perfect expression of the interconnections it sets out to examine, and a moving evocation of an imagined world that is deeply intelligent, often tender, curious, and very much alive.

    'The experience of St Aubyn is indelible' Jonathan Franzen
    'Extraordinary' Sam Mendes
    'A joy' Zadie Smith
    'Among the giants of English fiction' Edmund White

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