Susanna Clarke To Release New Book After 16 Years! - Comic Years
Comic Years Logo

Susanna Clarke To Release New Book – Piranesi – After 16 Year Hiatus

author img
BY January 4, 2021

After a lengthy hiatus from writing, author Susanna Clarke is due to release a new book. Sixteen years after her novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell became a world-wide bestseller, Clarke will release an alternate-history novel that sounds like it could be set in the same world. Bloomsbury will publish the novel – titled Piranesi – in September of 2020. The official synopsis is below.

Susanna Clarke To Release New Book: Piranesi

“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.”

The synopsis for the novel reads like a Victorian version of House of Leaves, replete with a spooky old house that might contain multiple dimensions. The bit of information given here teases many questions. Much like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell it sounds like Piranesi will follow a set of friends. Will Piranesi and The Other become antagonists as well? And what is the ‘great and secret knowledge’ that they are researching? It sounds like the house in the novel is a world unto itself that will be interesting to explore. But why is the ocean imprisoned? What is the science of this strange world?

Building Off The Success Of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Clarke made a name for herself with a similarly uncanny alternate version of our world when she published Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in 2004. That novel follows a pair of dueling magicians in 19th-century England where magic still exists, although just barely. Otherworldly elements such as devious Fae characters are also integral to this complex world. The tome of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is more than 1,000 pages, and reportedly took Clarke over a decade to complete. So perhaps her lengthy hiatus from publishing was simply because she was (secretly) working on Piranesi the entire time.

Susanna Clarke to Release New Book Over a Decade Since Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell Jonathan Strange (BERTIE CARVEL) – (C) JSMN Ltd – Photographer: Matt Squire via BBC One

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell released to critical acclaim, selling more than four million copies worldwide. It won the Hugo award for best novel in 2005. The BBC also adapted Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell into an excellent mini-series that aired in 2015. It is currently available to stream on Netflix.

A follow-up collection of short stories set in the same world came out in 2006 – The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories. So it is possible that Clarke is still working within the same alternate-history world that she created so many years ago. But the synopsis for Piranesi sounds like Clarke is constructing a new world to play in with the House. Its hundreds (or thousands) of rooms are sure to contain multitudes of stories to explore.

Piranesi Is A “Perfectly Constructed Novel”

According to the publisher, Clarke dropped Piranesi unexpectedly on them after it was already complete. “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,” says Johnny Geller of Curtis Brown. “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.”

Susanna Clarke is set to release her new book Piranesi next fall. According to The Bookseller, another novel by Clarke is set to follow Piranesi although there is no word on whether or not this book will be in the same universe.Stay tuned for more news and updates.

Start a conversation about your favorite comics or genre books on our social media pages. Follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

(Featured image is cover art for the Bloomsbury Modern Classic paperback edition of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Art by Dan Mumford. Image via Bloomsbury.)

Books

Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Alternate HistoryBBCBook NewsFaeFantasyHugoHugo AwardJonathan Strange & Mr. NorrellMagicMini-SeriesNew BooksPiranseiSusanna ClarkeThe Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

Leave a comment

Related

Books
5 Standalone Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels For Your Fall Reading List

Crossing over into the realm of science fiction and fantasy can be daunting for many readers. The long-running fantasy series is a mainstay of genre fiction. They keep devoted fans coming back to the genre […]

BY Emily O'Donnell August 26, 2019
BooksCOMICS
N.K Jemisin Reigns Over The City We Become And A Far Sector With New Works

An N.K. Jemisin new book and comic series is on the way as the author continues her reign as the queen of speculative fiction. After the success of her Hugo-award winning Broken Earth series, Jemisin […]

BY Emily O'Donnell September 3, 2019
BooksTV Shows
From Three Rivers To The Two Rivers: Daniel Henney To Play Lan In Amazon’s Wheel Of Time

Casting news for The Wheel of Time continued today with the announcement that Daniel Henney will be playing the character of a’Lan Mandragoran in the upcoming Amazon Prime series. Henney joins a diverse young cast of […]

BY Emily O'Donnell September 5, 2019