BookBrowse Reviews The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

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The Illusion of Separateness

A Novel

by Simon Van Booy

The Illusion of Separateness
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2014, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron

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The Illusion of Separateness intertwines the stories of unique and compelling characters who — through seemingly random acts of selflessness — discover the vital parts they have played in each other's lives.

Van Booy is a writer who pays homage to language. In his 2010 interview he said, "A writer is someone who feels a spiritual connection to the way language contains the fabric of our lives." This connection is evident on every page of his novel, The Illusion of Separateness. He takes the quotidian details of event and setting, and with sparse, lyrical phrasing, makes them shimmer. With language that slips easily between the mundane and the ineffable, Van Booy's work reads like a long, beautiful prose poem that unfurls in a single exhalation.

Wending its way through time (1944 to 2010) and place (USA, France, and England) the novel weaves together lives that at first glance appear to be separate. Thematically and metaphorically, what binds the characters together is that each of them is missing something. In a sense, the novel unfolds and comes together in the spaces of emptiness or ...

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