A mind-expanding literary debut composed of memory, music and imagination.
A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain. No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment. No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden. No parents - just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow. A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them. The world around Simon sings, each movement a pulse of rhythm, each object weaving its own melody, music ringing in every drop of air.
* Welcome to the world of The Chimes. Here, life is orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that renders people unable to form new memories. The past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphony. But slowly, inexplicably, Simon is beginning to remember. He emerges from sleep each morning with a pricking feeling, and sense there is something he urgently has to do.
In the city Simon meets Lucien, who has a gift for hearing, some secrets of his own, and a theory about the danger lurking in Simon's past.
A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, The Chimes pulls you into a world that captivates, enthrals and inspires.
A stunning literary debut by 34-year-old poet and violinist Anna Smaill, The Chimes is a startlingly original work that combines unique prose with incredible imagination.
Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2015
'The Chimes is a remarkable debut. It's inventive, beautifully written, and completely absorbing. I highly recommend it.' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds
Anna Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters (Wellington), an MA in English Literature from the University of Auckland and a PhD in contemporary American poetry from University College London. She is the author of one book of poetry (The Violinist in Spring, VUP 2005) and her poems have been published and anthologised in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has lived and worked in both Tokyo and London, and now lives in New Zealand with her husband, novelist Carl Shuker, and their daughter.