Pursued by Nazi soldiers, or old age, or shame, or handicap, or disease, or regret, the varied characters of Simon Van Booy’s utterly compelling The Illusion of Separateness ($24.99) discover at their darkest moments of fear and isolation that they are not alone, that they were never alone, that every human being is a link in a chain we cannot see. This gripping, emotional, novel (inspired by true events) tells the story of several compelling characters: a handicapped German infantryman, a lonely British film director, a young, blind museum curator, Jewish-American newlyweds separated by war, a lost child on the brink of starvation, and a caretaker at a retirement home for actors in Santa Monica. The same world moves under each of them, so that one by one, through seemingly random acts of selflessness, a veil is lifted to reveal the vital parts they have played in each other’s lives, and the illusion of their separateness.
Simon Van Booy grew up in rural Wales. He is the author of The Secret Lives of People in Love, Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Everything Beautiful Began After, which won the ABA’s Honor Award in Adult Fiction. He is the editor of three philosophy books, titled Why We Fight, Why We Need Love, and Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Guardian, and on NPR.
The award-winning author tells a harrowing and enchanting story of how one man's act of mercy during World War II changed the lives of a group of strangers, and how they each eventually discover the astonishing truth of their connection.