The Blind Light

Stuart Evers

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11 June 2020
544 pages

Shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award 2021

The Blind Light reads like a British Don DeLillo, telling the social history of Britain through two generations of a family.’ – Alex Preston, Observer

‘A powerful and affecting novel’ – Jim Crace, author of Harvest

In the late 1950s, during his National Service, Drummond meets the two people who will change his life: Carter, a rich, educated young man sent down from Oxford; and Gwen, a barmaid with whom he feels an instant connection. His feelings for both will be tested at a military base known as Doom Town – a training ground where servicemen prepare for the aftermath of an Atomic Strike. It is an experience that will colour the rest of his – and his family’s – life.

Told from the perspectives of Drum and Gwen, and later their children Nathan and Anneka, The Blind Light moves from the Fifties through to the present day, taking in the global and local events that will shape and define them all. From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the War on Terror, from the Dagenham strikes to Foot and Mouth, from Skiffle to Rave, we see a family come together, driven apart, fracture and reform – as the pressure of the past is brought, sometimes violently, to bear on the present.

The Blind Light is a powerful, ambitious, big yet intimate story of our national past and a brilliant evocation of a family and a country. It will remind you how complicated human history is – and how hard it is to do the right thing for the right reasons.

From the cold war era to the war on terror, the corrosive effects of fear are closely observed in this portrait of a friendship over six decades . . . At its heart, the novel is a thoughtful and powerful study of the corrosive effects of fear, the damage we do to ourselves and our loved ones when danger is all we can see. Right now that story feels disconcertingly timely


The Blind Light reads like a British Don DeLillo, telling the social history of Britain through two generations of a family.

Alex Preston, Observer

The Blind Light is a page-perfect and impeccably structured portrait of Britain’s troubled, post-nuclear generations, and the pressures which have both tugged them apart and cemented them together. Stuart Evers has written a powerful and affecting novel which excels at being as true to Family and the personal as it is to Nation and the universal, a rare and potent combination.

Jim Crace, author of Harvest