The Illusion of Separateness

Pages: 224
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

The Illusion of Separateness

Simon Van Booy

A luminous story of how one man's act of mercy during WW2 changed the lives of a group of strangers
9781780743240 (25 Jul 2013)
RRP £12.99
9781780743943 (3 Jul 2014)
RRP £8.99

The Book

In The Illusion of Separateness, award-winning author Simon Van Booy tells the haunting and luminous story of how one man’s act of mercy on a World War II battlefield changes the lives of six strangers across time and place. From wartime Britain and Nazi-occupied France, to modern-day Los Angeles, the characters of this gripping novel – inspired by true events – include a child on the brink of starvation, a blind museum curator looking for love, a German infantryman, and a humble caretaker at a retirement home in Santa Monica. Whether they are pursued by old age, shame, disease, or regret, these incandescent characters remain unaware of their connection until seemingly random acts of selflessness lift a veil to reveal the vital parts they play in each other’s lives.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 224
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Simon Van Booy was born in London and grew up in rural Wales and the suburbs of London. He is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, including The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2009. He is the editor of three philosophy books and has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, and the BBC. His work has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.


‘A delicate, complex, moving novel, one to withstand – demand even – an instant second reading.’


- Daily Telegraph

'The elegance of Van Booy’s evocative prose has led to comparisons with F. Scott Fitzgerald; it’s some claim but one this little gem of a book completely justifies.'

- Daily Mail

'Van Booy writes with muted, unsentimental elegance about the impulses that bind us together.'

- Sunday Times

'Simon Van Booy’s reputation can only grow... There’s a crispness to [his] writing... It is the beginnings of poetry...

it carries you with it effortlessly.'

- Independent on Sunday

'There is a sustaining pleasure in wondering how the strands of the story will tie together.'

- Guardian

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