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About the book
  • Published: 18 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9780857525710
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $26.99

The Vanishing Hours

From the award-winning, critically-acclaimed author of FIVE RIVERS MET ON A WOODED PLAIN comes a powerful, moving, boldly original love story with a difference.

'Shot through with compassion . . . this dreamlike, winding tale is a joy.' A. L. KENNEDY

'Moving and unconventionally wise' Guardian
This was how I heard the most important story of my life, the thing that decided me, the story that determined who I was in the end.

At a hotel bar in a quiet English town, two strangers meet by chance and share their stories. Hers is of an inconspicuous life, shaken by heartbreak and scattered with unfulfilled dreams. His is a dizzying tale of an unending quest for someone he lost in his youth.

From the blustery cliffs of Dover to the confines of a dark prison cell; from the courtroom witness box to the West End stage, we join him as he slips through time.

Extraordinary though his story is, what she has to reveal is even more surprising, and will take them to a place neither of them – or you – expected.
From the bestselling author of FIVE RIVERS MET ON A WOODED PLAIN comes this captivating novel about love, abandonment, and the power of stories to help us find meaning in a confusing world – a world that can sometimes threaten to overwhelm us, but one that is rich with possibility, and always full of wonder.

  • Pub date: 18 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9780857525710
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $26.99

About the Author

Barney Norris

Barney Norris was born in Sussex in 1987, and grew up in Salisbury. Upon leaving university he founded the theatre company Up In Arms. He won the Critics' Circle and Offwestend Awards for Most Promising Playwright for his debut full-length play Visitors. He is the Martin Esslin Playwright in Residence at Keble College, Oxford.

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Praise for The Vanishing Hours

“The Vanishing Hours is a rare thing: a book shot through with compassion. Norris is more than a fine writer, he conveys a deep belief in humanity and its place in nature. This dreamlike, winding tale is a joy.”

A. L. Kennedy

“Gripping, humane and funny. The Vanishing Hours is both a stunning work of art, and an extraordinarily important novel for our time.”

Sophie Ratcliffe, author of The Lost Properties of Love

“A delicate tale of unexpected connection lights up another quiet masterpiece from Barney Norris”

Waterstones Weekly

“A moving and unconventionally wise account of loss and memory and of how redemption works, even for those who resist it most.”


“Steeped in the powerful idea of personal rebirth through the imaginative engagement in the suffering of others.”


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