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The Illusion of Separateness

Simon Van Booy

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.

  • Publication date: July 3, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781780743943
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 224
  • Publication date: July 25, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781780743240
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Pages: 224
  • Publication date: July 1, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781780743257
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 224


‘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.'


Simon Van Booy

Simon Van Booy was born in London and grew up in rural Wales and the suburbs of London. He is the author of three novels and two collections of short stories, including The Illusion of Separateness, 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 lives in New York.

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