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The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel
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Random House Publishing Group 2016
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Description
The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon
It's November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last.
There's snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived. 
Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they'll all be ready. 
Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature's most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst. 
- NPR “Best Books of 2016” – Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Tales from Around the World
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/19/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553418880
ASIN:
B0174PRHGS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jenni Fagan. (2016). The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jenni Fagan. 2016. The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jenni Fagan, The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jenni Fagan. The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: JENNI FAGAN was born in Scotland. She attended Greenwich University and won a scholarship to the Royal Holloway MFA. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac, The James Tait Black, and was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.
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The Sunlight Pilgrims
fullDescription
The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon
It's November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last.
There's snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived. 
Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they'll all be ready. 
Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature's most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst. 
- NPR “Best Books of 2016” – Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Tales from Around the World
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Fierce and cleareyed...Fagan's novel balances the oncoming climate disaster with the human-scales stories of these characters, focusing especially on Stella, whose feelings about her sexual identity are refreshingly resolute...Fagan is a poet as well as a novelist, and many of her images of this unbidden winter are shot through with lyric beauty...Strange beauty can be found in destruction, and Fagan is fearless and wise to allow her characters to be as entranced by nature's awesome power as they are terrified of it."
      • premium: False
      • source: NPR.org
      • content: "Fagan's keen ear for crackling dialogue... betrays a bittersweet depth. And her imagery is sumptuous. As the cold, slow reality of climate change creeps across the countryside, she delivers page after crystalline page of haunting, heart-stopping lyricism... [Fagan] captures what so much apocalyptic literature loses: the way humans can become mute, withdrawn, and even darkly humorous in the face of doom, rather than running around in panic."
      • premium: False
      • source: Dallas Morning News
      • content: "Chilling and thrilling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus (starred review)
      • content: "Fagan depicts the band of misfits assembled in the harbor town of Clachan Fells with the same warmth she invested in the teenage outcasts of her ambitious, exciting debut, The Panopticon (2013) ... The frozen landscape is as beautiful as it is menacing in Fagan's evocative descriptions, and the vast snowstorm that closes the novel finds Dylan, Stella, and Constance safe and warm inside...for now. Tales of "sunlight pilgrims" from the north lyrically reinforce the author's theme that the struggle for survival can be joyful. More fine work from this gifted Scottish writer."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "Gorgeous and vividly rendered, Fagan's second novel is a beguiling, beautiful testament to the tenacity of the human spirit."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "A vivid story."
      • premium: False
      • source: Electric Literature
      • content: "The Sunlight Pilgrims is a story about light and darkness, the essential co-existence of the two, the life-force which drives us on into the light and its transforming power even when everything appears to be stacked against us. It is also about the spectrum of light, the different colors which it produces and the wide range of ways in which we can live. It is a beautiful story which itself illuminates, and perhaps above all it illuminates the importance of respecting difference."
      • premium: False
      • source: Shelf Awareness
      • content: "It is about what happens in between and around and in spite of those big things: the everyday moments of life and its machinations, the work we do to find our place in a chaotic world, and what it means to love and be loved."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirsty Logan, The Guardian
      • content: "[A] vivid and tender coming-of-age story set at the end of the world."
      • premium: False
      • source: Financial Times
      • content: "Fagan's vivid, poetic-prose style injects the book with energy. She writes at the pace of thought, sentences like gunfire ... She has a poet's affection for precision and image."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Spectator
      • content: "The Sunlight Pilgrims evokes a chillingly plausible near-future . . . intimately imagined."
      • premium: False
      • source: Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
      • content: "Fagan has created a feisty, brass-knuckled yet deeply vulnerable heroine, who feels like sort of a cross between Lisbeth Salander, Stieg Larsson's 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' and one of Irvine Welsh's drug-taking Scottish miscreants from 'Trainspotting' or 'Skagboys.' Her novel is by turns gritty, unnerving, exhausting, [and] ferocious...A deeply felt and genuinely affecting novel."
      • premium: False
      • source: Alan Cheuse, NPR
      • content: "[A] terrific portrait of a young criminal...Fagan makes this ugly life somehow beautiful."
      • premium: False
      • source: National Post
      • content: "The Panopticon is like its protagonist: tough as old boots and always ready with the fists, but likely to steal your heart if you'll just slow down and listen."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bust (four stars)
      • content: "Fagan creates a complex and vulnerable character...[and] even though Anais makes it hard for you to love her, you can't help wishing her out of her plight and cheering her upward."
      • premium: False
      • source: Gillian Flynn, Oprah.com
      • content: "In the Margaret Atwood/The Handmaid's Tale vein--very literary and suspenseful. I like books set in an altered reality--one that feels familiar and yet also deeply unfamiliar, that embodies some of the dailiness of life, and yet slowly reveals itself to be a very different, much more sinister place."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tupelo Hassman, author of Girlchild
      • content: "With The Panopticon, Fagan makes Foucault proud and
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 30, 2016
        It’s 2020, and the coldest, harshest winter in 200 years is about to pummel the United States and Europe. In London, Dylan MacRae closes his family’s deeply-in-debt boutique cinema for the final time, and, carrying the ashes of his recently deceased mother and grandmother with him, he heads north to a small caravan park in Clachan Fells. His mother left him a caravan home there, and he plans to stay until springtime, when he can spread her and his grandmother’s ashes further north. Upon arrival, Dylan quickly befriends Stella, a 12-year-old trans girl, and her mother, Constance, a furniture refinisher, who live next door. Together, the trio becomes a tight unit to face the oncoming wintery devastation. Dylan and Constance begin a romance, and Stella struggles with schoolyard bullying, as well as her oncoming puberty. Fagan (The Panopticon) once more employs a heightened version of reality—in her debut, it was high-security juvenile detention; here, it’s a second Ice Age—to set in motion a series of small, intimate narratives. Characters devote long stretches to exploring the world, making gin, and rolling snowmen. Though not as gripping as her previous effort, Fagan has still constructed a vivid story.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2016

        Named one of Granta's Best Young British Writers in 2013, Fagan debuted with the marvelously trenchant The Panopticon, which was short-listed for multiple awards and was an LJ Best Book. This new work opens in November 2020 as the world experiences a sudden chill. Most Londoners are fleeing the icy, overflowing Thames for warmer southern climes, but Dylan is going north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands they once called home. Along the way, he meets 12-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, who are readying themselves for one cold winter in their caravan park in the Highlands. I'm really anticipating this one.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2016
        Fagan's follow-up to her debut, The Panopticon (2013), is set in 2020 in a remote Scottish village called Clachan Fells at the onset of a massive, worldwide winter-weather crisis. After the deaths of his grandmother and mother, Londoner Dylan MacRae, 38, is surprised to discover that his mother, Vivienne, purchased a caravan (trailer) home in Clachan Fells. Forced to let go of the small movie theater his family ran, Dylan moves into the caravan. He soon meets 12-year-old Stella, a transgendered preteen who has just started living as a girl, and her beautiful, mysterious mother, Constance, who is known, and judged, for having two longtime lovers, one of whom is Stella's father, the oft-married Alastair. As plummeting temperatures cause disaster throughout the world, Fagan gracefully chronicles Stella's struggles with the ridicule of her peers and Dylan's blossoming as he makes a surprising familial discovery and falls in love with Constance. Gorgeous and vividly rendered, Fagan's second novel is a beguiling, beautiful testament to the tenacity of the human spirit.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon
It's November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last.
There's snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived. 
Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle...
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      • description: Fiction / Dystopian