Author(s): Patrick McGrath
The aloof and enigmatic Constance Schuyler lives alone in Manhattan. At a literary party she meets Sidney Klein, a professor of poetry twenty years her senior. Intoxicated by her chilly beauty, Sidney pursues the young woman with restless determination and soon proposes marriage. Constance accepts, and with some misgivings moves into his dark, book-filled apartment. But Constance is a haunted woman. When her father, a doctor, makes a devastating revelation, she is forced to revisit the childhood she spent with her dissipated sister Iris in a broken-down house on the Hudson River. Meanwhile Iris's lover, Eddie, who plays piano in a cocktail lounge, threatens Constance's already shaky marriage, and before long her world begins to fall apart. Her only consolation is the friendship of Sidney's boy Howard, a strange, delicate child, not unlike Constance herself...A compelling story of a troubled marriage and a damaged family, Constance is also a tale of resilience and loyalty, and of the sudden unexpected glimpse of moral inspiration in the midst of crisis that can lead even the most lost of souls back to the light.
The acclaimed Costa-shortlisted author of Trauma and Asylum brings us a masterful novel of psychological suspense and marriage in 1960s America
Patrick McGrath is one of the age's most elegantly accomplished divers into the human psyche, and in his new novel he brings us another resonant sounding from that deep well. Constance is an intricate, multi-layered and, in the end, surprisingly tender work from a master writer John Banville PRAISE FOR PATRICK MCGRATH: His prose, sinuous, savoury and sly, is a delight Graham Swift Patrick McGrath can write a love story like no other man alive - dark, a little twisted, very passionate, and so loaded with exact and unexpected sensuous detail Peter Carey A master story-teller Sunday Telegraph McGrath has the gift, the storyteller's gift, to compel attention, so that you gaze rapt into the fire and listen to the tale unfold Sunday Times
Patrick McGrath is the author of a short story collection, Blood and Water and Other Tales, and seven previous novels including Asylum, Martha Peake, Port Mungo and Trauma, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. He has also published Ghost Town, a volume of novellas about New York. Spider was made into a film in 2002 by acclaimed director David Cronenberg. Patrick McGrath lives in London and New York.