The Chemistry of Tears

by Peter Carey
$39.95

Publisher: Penguin Australia Pty Ltd

Publication Date: January 25, 2012

ISBN: 9781926428154

Binding: Hardback

Availability: 7-14 Days

Please note this is the time it takes for stock to reach our warehouse. Please allow a few extra days for delivery.

When her lover dies suddenly, all Catherine has left is her work. The long affair had been kept secret from their colleagues at London's Swinburne Museum and now she must grieve in private. Or almost. In an act of compassion, the head of her department gives Catherine a very particular project, something to cling onto- a box of intricate clockwork parts that appear to be the remains of a nineteenth-century automaton, a beautiful mechanical bird. Once she discovers that the box also contains the diary of the man who commissioned the machine, one obsession merges into another. Who was Henry Brandling? Who was the mysterious, visionary clockmaker he hired to make a gift for his ailing son? And what was the end result that now sits in pieces in Catherine's studio? The Chemistry of Tears is a portrait of love and loss that is both wildly entertaining and profoundly moving, simultaneously delicate and anarchic. At its heart is an image only the masterful Peter Carey could breathe such life into - an object made of equal parts magic, love, madness and science, a delight that contains the seeds of our age's downfall. 'The Chemistry of Tears - alive with the vivid evocation of place and period that is always Carey's forte - juxtaposes love for a dead partner with love for a dying son . . . A novel by one of the present day's most unconventionally creative writers. Oddball characters are propelled along zigzagging narrative channels, connections made with whimsical aplomb. As always, too, everything is burnished with vitalisingly poetic images. The Chemistry of Tears isn't only about life and inventiveness- it overflows with them.' Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times 'Audacious yet restrained, tender yet sardonic, and filled with moments of emotional complexity . . . A beautifully elegiac hymn to lost love.' Patrick Arlington, Australian Book Revie