“Falla's construction and execution of the novel are beautifully judged...it's carried out with poetic subtlety, hard to spot because the writing itself is so joyously accomplished, light, almost airborne. And witty too, a wry, anachronistic treat for fans of the movie, Casablanca.” —Tom Adair, The Scotsman
An intense, graphic and quietly violent psychological novel set in Patagonia circa 1915. In the vein of Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene, this is literary fiction at its very best.
A beautifully written and absorbing story of exile and redemption set against the stark Patagonian wilderness at the start of the modern age.
Matthieu Macanan has fled his home in France, to work as a doctor in a remote region of South America where his past is unknown. There he tends to the local tribes and tries to avoid contact with European settlers. When Silke Kahn and her husband Theo fly into his world with plans to run an airmail service in the area, his reclusive life is irrevocably altered.
While Matthieu struggles to resist his attraction to Silke, hostilities created by the coming war escalate, drawing the local people into their orbit and forcing the doctor to decide which side he is on.
But what is he hiding from? Can he really help the local tribes to survive the disease and trouble the Europeans unleash? In offering refuge to Silke Kahn, has Matthieu finally committed a fatal move?
The Physician of Sanlúcar is Jonathan Falla's fourth novel, after Blue Poppies, Poor Mercy and Glenfarron. Jamaican-born Falla lives in Scotland where he is director of studies for the St Andrews Creative Writing Summer School. He has won a Creative Scotland Award, a PEN story prize, and other awards for his fiction, drama and film writing. See www.jonathanfalla.co.uk.