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15 years after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke is back.

Emily Temple

September 30, 2019, 11:40am

Yes, folks, it’s true: a full 15 years after Susanna Clarke’s beloved 1,000-page, best-selling debut, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, (set in an alternative 19th century England in which magic exists (again)), she’s announced her second novel: Piranesi, which will be arriving in September 2020 from Bloomsbury. (There’s also apparently a third; our cup runneth over.)

“There are a few moments in an agent’s life when something so unexpected and so wonderful pops up in your inbox, you can’t quite believe it,” Clarke’s agent Jonny Geller said. “Susanna hinted she may be writing again after such a long hiatus, but I never really believed a fully imagined world, a perfectly constructed novel, would just be sitting there. I’m so excited for her legions of fans worldwide to read Piranesi next year and am delighted Bloomsbury UK and US will be weaving their magic once again for the author of Jonathan Strange.”

Here’s the synopsis:

Piranesi has always lived in the House. It has hundreds if not thousands of rooms and corridors, imprisoning an ocean. A watery labyrinth. Once in a while he sees his friend, The Other, who needs Piranesi for his scientific research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. Piranesi records his findings in his journal. Then messages begin to appear; all is not what it seems. A terrible truth unravels as evidence emerges of another person and perhaps even another world outside the House’s walls.

I have no idea what any of that means, but I will be first in line to read this book.

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