The Reactor

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What to expect

‘One of the finest accounts of the mysterious workings of grief I have ever read.’-Helen Macdonald

‘Beautiful, strange and completely compelling.’Olivia Laing

‘I read it with awe and sorrow.’-Fatima Bhutto

I tore the arse of my pyjamas one morning, about a year before he died, and my father sewed it up perfect in a few minutes, just like that. I was looking at them this morning actually, his line of white stitches. It’s beautiful really. They’ve held.

After the sudden death of his father, Nick Blackburn embarks on a singular, labyrinthine journey to understand his loss. How do you create an existence when all you can see is a void?

The Reactor is a memoir about absence and creative possibilities, assembled like the pieces of a puzzle. Through philosophy, music, fashion, psychology, art and film, Blackburn travels a vast panorama of ideas and characters to offer an entirely new exploration of grief. This is a book about looking for and finding chain reactions and human connection – a work of enduring fragmentary beauty.

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