Between two worlds: Susanna Clarke shows us where her magic lives

Lifestyle

Between two worlds: Susanna Clarke shows us where her magic lives

The ‘Piranesi’ author tells us about her research, her writing practices, and where Narnia fits into it all

Jennifer Platt

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi is the long-awaited sequel to the bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Published in 2004, that novel transported more than four million readers into its mysterious alternative world – a flawlessly detailed version of a historical and magical England. It became an instant classic and has been hailed as one of the finest works of fiction of the 21st century. 

The debut was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. It won British Book Awards Newcomer of the Year, the Hugo Award, and the World Fantasy Award in 2005. 

Now, 15 years later, it is finally time to enter the House and meet Piranesi. Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house...

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