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  • Published: 1 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241558539
  • Imprint: Fig Tree
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $29.99


Delphi is a mesmerising story of our pasts, our presents and our futures, and how we keep on living in a world that is ever-more uncertain and absurd.

It is 2020 and in a time more turbulent than any of us could have ever imagined, a woman is attempting to write a book about prophecy in the ancient world.

Navigating the tightening grip of lockdown, a marriage in crisis, and a ten-year-old son who seems increasingly unreachable, she becomes fixated on our many forms of divination and prediction: on oracles, tarot cards and tea leaves and the questions we have always asked as we scroll and click and rage against our fates.

But in doing so she fails to notice the future creeping into the heart of her own home. For despite our best intentions - our sacrifices and our bargains with the gods - time, certainty and, sometimes, those we love, can still slip away ...

  • Published: 1 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241558539
  • Imprint: Fig Tree
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard is an award-winning poet and playwright based in London. She is the author of five poetry collections and the Editor of the Modern Poetry in Translation magazine. Delphi is her first novel.

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Praise for Delphi

'Consoling, harrowing, hilarious. I feel like it's healed me ...Pollard's narrator is so funny and so radically honest it leaves you reeling'

Luke Kennard, author of Notes on the Sonnets

Delphi is a compact miracle of a book

Evie Wyld, author of The Bass Rock

Delphi is a triumph of sly observation, wit and tragedy... dark and dangerous, disturbed and disturbing in equal measure - I loved it.

Anna Hope, author of Expectation

'Bold, brave and uncompromising, Pollard has found a way to write about the last couple of years which is both truthful and enjoyable to read, which I didn't think was possible. Exhilarating, exciting, rare and beautiful.'

Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of Write It All Down

'Vivid as fireworks, Delphi explodes with the ambivalence, rage and dread of middle years lived within a world of pandemic and climate collapse. Both terrifying and exhilarating'

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, author of A Ghost in the Throat

'Using language that charms and beguiles, Clare Pollard cleverly creates moments of the darkest déjà vu, so that I was swept up into a story which I was both unnerved and reassured to recognise'

Claire Fuller, author of Unsettled Ground

'Clare Pollard's DELPHI delivers an urgency unlike any I've experienced. I loved this book so much; the language, the humour, the style, which reminded me of both Patricia Lockwood and Sheila Heti. A brilliant novel born of searing eloquence and sinister wit'

Jackie Polzin, author of Brood

'Set in the dark days of the 2020 lockdowns, this moodily relatable narrative introduces a protagonist who, faced with a global pandemic and a marriage in crisis, looks to the ancient art of prophecy for consolation ... This is a powerful fable about life in an ever-more unpredictable world'

Harper's Bazaar, 15 brilliant debut novels to discover now

Finally, a brilliantly funny and sad look into the heart of the pandemic lockdown... Pollard's debut novel, Delphi, is a greatest hits of COVID-era angst that manages to avoid cliches and tired complaints while being reassuringly familiar at the same time... This is the COVID novel I've been wanting to read - the COVID novel that feels brilliantly true to real life while elevating the monotonous drag of lockdown into something funny, sad and universal... [in] compact, concise language... Characters, settings and even whole scenes are drawn in quick, exquisite precision full of wit and pathos. Its intimacy reminded me of Sally Rooney and its subtle, sly humor of Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows... a reassuring reflection in the darkness

San Francisco Chronicle

If you're a fan of Greek mythology, you'll enjoy Delphi ... What I loved most about this quick read is the straight-talking, frustrated narrative voice, which feels so real and relatable ... There's something strangely comforting about seeing the messiness of lockdown life through fictional eyes


Inviting, stylish and candid ... Pollard's future, as a novelist, is very bright indeed

The i

Lyrical and ambitious, humorous and disturbing at points, Delphi is a relatable tale ... Delphi gets to the heart of what we might not see coming when the future isn't on our radar

The Skinny

This isn't the first - and most certainly won't be the last - pandemic novel, but it might be the most brilliant ... As a scribe of the present, Pollard, who is a successful poet and playwright, often recalls Ali Smith. But whereas Smith's formula has lately seemed rather stale, Pollard's novel is consistently inspired, and will keep you gripped all the way through to the heart-stopping finale

Daily Mail

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