Bodies of Light | Granta

  • Published: 06/05/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783787678
  • Granta Books
  • 320 pages

Bodies of Light

Sarah Moss

Bodies of Light is a deeply poignant tale of a psychologically tumultuous nineteenth century upbringing set in the atmospheric world of Pre-Raphaelitism and the early suffrage movement.

Ally (older sister of May in Night Waking), is intelligent, studious and engaged in an eternal – and losing – battle to gain her mother’s approval and affection. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a religious zealot, keener on feeding the poor and saving prostitutes than on embracing the challenges of motherhood. Even when Ally wins a scholarship and is accepted as one of the first female students to read medicine in London, it still doesn’t seem good enough.

The first in a two-book sequence, Bodies of Light will propel Sarah Moss into the upper echelons of British novelists. It is a triumphant piece of historical fiction and a profoundly moving master class in characterisation.

Her third novel confirms the richness of her concerns and it sharpens our sense of her steely, no-nonsense voice... Moss produces well-crafted, deeply researched, hard-working novels about hard-working women... [A] tremendously talented writer

Alexandra Harris, Guardian

Not just a beautiful novel but an important one

Mark Haddon

Wise and tender... Moss's style is measured and refined. A very accomplished piece of work

Alexander Gilmour, Financial Times

The Author

Sarah Moss is the author of several novels and a memoir of her year living in Iceland, Names for the Sea, shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. Her novels are Summerwater, Cold Earth, Night Waking, Bodies of Light (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize), Signs for Lost Children (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize), The Tidal Zone (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize) and Ghost Wall, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2019.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Sarah Moss on Granta.com

In Conversation | The Online Edition

In Conversation

Louise Kennedy & Sarah Moss

Two Ireland-based writers discussing national identity, disappointing holidays and art deco china.

Fiction | The Online Edition

Ghost Wall

Sarah Moss

An excerpt from Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall, published by Granta Books.

Fiction | The Online Edition

things that didn’t happen

Sarah Moss

‘Suddenly, your heart began; suddenly in the darkness of your mother’s womb there was a crackle and a flash and out of nothing, the current began to run.’