Book of the Month – February 2021

Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford

Our February choice is Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford

From the winner of the Costa First Novel Award, the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize comes a novel of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting.

November 1944. A German rocket incinerates a South London household-goods store, and five young lives are atomised in an instant. Jo and Valerie and Alec and Ben and Vernon are gone. But what if it were possible to resurrect them – to let them experience the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the twentieth century; to live out all the personal triumphs and disasters, the second chances and redemptions denied them?

Ingenious and profound, both sweeping and intimate, full of warmth and beauty. It has you turning the final page with a renewed and enriched appreciation for the gift of life.

Buy the book

Alternatively, please buy the book from your local bookshop or borrow it from your local library. Please check opening times and availability in advance.

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BOOK OF THE MONTH LIVE Q&A with Francis Spufford talking to Rebecca  took place on Tuesday 9 February 2021, 7pm

Watch the event again below or on Hay Player.

Further reading

'I love that endlessly varied pressure from other people’s lives in cities', The Bookseller

'It’s taken me this long to be on reasonable terms with my own psyche’, The Guardian

Golden Hill wins Francis Spufford third major prize in a year, The Guardian

About the author

Francis Spufford is the author of five highly-praised works of non-fiction, most frequently described by reviewers as either ‘bizarre’ or ‘brilliant’, and usually as both. His debut novel Golden Hill won the Costa First Novel Award, the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and the British Book Awards Debut Novel of the Year. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and lives near Cambridge.

About Hay Festival's Book of the Month

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a title we love and think holds particular resonance today. This is our chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry – new and old.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HayBookoftheMonth and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

Each month we'll have a free digital event with the author for you to ask them questions and explore their ideas further.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please share on social media using #HayBookOfTheMonth.

Happy reading!