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Reviews

  • [A] vivid and tender coming-of-age story set at the end of the world . . . For all its coldness and darkness, The Sunlight Pilgrims is ultimately a hopeful book – and for a novel that describes the end of the world, that is quite a feat.

    Kirsty Logan, Guardian
  • Fagan received widespread acclaim for her 2012 debut The Panopticon, and was named as one of the prestigious Granta Best of Young British Novelists a year later. The Sunlight Pilgrims further cements Fagan’s reputation as a writer of skill and depth, a book that shares a similar outsider charm to its predecessor, and one that delves deep into how we relate to others on a human level in the face of all the crap that life throws at us … The author also, it should be said, writes like the poet that she is, with an original eye for description, a wonderful rhythm to her prose, and some genuinely inspiring and unusual characters. An impressive read.

    Doug Johnstone, Big Issue
  • The Sunlight Pilgrims evokes a chillingly plausible near-future . . . intimately imagined.

    Paraic O'Donnell, The Spectator
  • Fagan’s vivid, poetic-prose style injects the book with energy. She writes at the pace of thought, sentences like gunfire … She has a poet's affection for precision and image.

    Sophie Elmhirst, Financial Times
  • Fagan is drawn to those who exist on the outer reaches, and in The Sunlight Pilgrims it is in the literal margins where a broader and yet more refined collection of voices is drawn togetherThe Sunlight Pilgrims is about the confluence of characters searching to fill the gaps in their lives … In the transgender 11-year-old Stella we have an engaging protagonist whose isolation is mental, physical and geographical, yet who is imbued with a survivalist’s steely resolve ... Indeed, it is somewhere between Alan Warner and Iain Banks that Fagan’s storytelling ability sits, the grit of her familial backstories and dysfunctional relationships dusted with the glitter of magical realism ... In heightened poetic prose, Fagan does for rural Scottish fiction what Kathleen Jamie is doing in poetry and Amy Liptrot in non-fiction: evocatively documenting the ever-changing daily drama of the landscape … This is a novel about summoning hidden strengths and finding one’s place in a universe defined by chaos.

    Ben Myers, New Statesman

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